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Twitter Screenwriting Tips: BBC's Writer's Room - Taking Notes, UK vs US Industries, Breaking In

Script scours Twitter for screenwriting tips so you don't have to. A BBC Writer's Room tweet took us down a fabulous rabbit hole of wisdom for writers. Get advice on taking notes, what the differences are in the UK vs US film industries, and breaking into screenwriting.

Click to tweet this article to your friends and followers! 

Sometimes the best tweets are retweets (RT). This week, we bring an RT from Script Angel's Haley McKenzie @scriptangel1 (who also used to write a fabulous column for Script that is still highly relevant today) of the BBC Writer's Room where Roger Williams @rogwilliams gives amazing and practical tips for screenwriters.

bbc twitter screenwriting tip roger williams

For our US readers who might not be aware of who Roger Williams is, you can find his full bio here. In short, he's a playwright, screenwriter, and winner of BAFTA screenwriting awards.

Roger answers the following questions

1. What are your tip tips for new writers? (If you need feedback tips, this is it.) 

2. How do you deal with writer's block

3. What is a common mistake new writers make? 

Here's the video of Roger Williams giving career and writing advice for screenwriters. 

Because I always like to dig deeper, I went on the BBC Writer's Room site and found some more gems. See, this is how social media takes you down a rabbit hole and away from writing your own work. Beware, but also enjoy! 

Under the BBC's "Resources" tab, there's a "Tips and Advice," but being the rebel I am, I did not click on it. Instead I saw "10 Questions" and I had to know what they were. 

Who is John York and what are his questions? 

In 2005, John Yorke created the BBC Drama Academy. That's who. These 10 questions are ones he developed for all storytellers inform their work. You can learn more about John York here. (Yep, watch out for that rabbit hole...)

  1. Whose story is it?
  2. What does the character need? (what is their flaw? what do they need to learn?)
  3. What is the inciting incident?
  4. What does the character want?
  5. What obstacles are in the character’s way?
  6. What’s at stake?
  7. Why should we care?
  8. What do they learn?
  9. How and why?
  10. How does it end? 

[Download free screenwriting resources from Script]

Wait, there's another Williams on the BBC site... Meet Rob Williams, a UK and US screenwriter

There are a ton of clips of writer interviews on the site. A goldmine! 

Here, Rob Williams answers the following questions in this must-watch clip: 

1. How did your writing break come about? 

2. Was working on Continuing Dramas a great way to learn the ropes? (In the UK, Soaps are a common way for writers to break in.) 

3. What differences are there working as a writer in the UK vs the US? 

4. How did The Victim come about, and what was its development process?

5. How do you deal with receiving notes, especially those you don't agree with? (You MUST listen to his answer to this one!)

6. What's the best piece of advice you can give a new writer?

Read screenplays, and read some more.

Yes, BBC also shares their script library! I told you this RT was a gem. Click to read BBC TV, Radio and Film scripts.

The Lesson? 

Be a good human. Collaborate, be open to notes, find the note behind the note, and work in all mediums. 

When it comes to your career path, you don't need to reinvent the wheel. Learn from others on how they navigate their writing career, try some of their tips yourself, but also be open to carving your own path. 

Now, kiss the rest of your day goodbye as you drown in the BBC Writer's Room videos. Sorry, not sorry. 

You can follow our list of pro writers on Twitter here.

More Twitter Screenwriting Tips and articles by Jeanne Veillette Bowerman

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