Must have writing book : Challenge 19

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If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you will know how much I love books and stories.

I also value education. My learning style is that I respond better to hearing lectures, having ideas float around and then reading text books to reinforce all of those.

Training as a scriptwriter I have dozens of different books – you name it I have it. “Save the Cat”, “Save the Cat goes to the movies”, “Story”, “Writing for Radio”, “The little book of sitcom” and the list goes on for about a dozen more.

However, the one book which I think every writer should have is “The Woman in the Story” by Helen Jacey.woman in story

I am approximately half way through this text book, but it is an important tool when writing female characters as there are still problems with females on our screens in terms of their identity. Characters are usually the stereotypical dumb blonde or the aggressive female boss.

Give me Sarah Lumb (The Killing), Beatrice Kiddo (Kill Bill) and Nurse Jackie anyday. Believable and not cliché in their flaws, but these characters are few and far between.

The quest is on – I need to create my own unique, strong females. If I can do that I am pretty sure I will be one happy bunny.

It’s a difficult task to get the balance right when developing females. My current project is about a family of four generations of females, and I am struggling with one of them as I don’t want her to be a stereotypical gold-digger that she currently is. But, with the mix of the other three she needs to have flaws that will create conflict with the other members of the family. It’s a balancing act, and it’s a much more difficult task than I first though, which is why I bought this book.

Another problem I have, which I am hoping the book will offer insight into is how to make these characters humorous, as this is a comedy drama that I am developing.

Controversially I have ended up bring in a teenage boy as a possible love interest to provide the comedy for my teenage girl character. The reason for this? I couldn’t find anything funny about being a teenage girl in modern society. But teenage boys, well they are hilarious. I only have to sit in front of a group of them on the bus to know that their conversations are full of humour, which is why I love the Inbetweeners.

If any readers can give me examples of where there have been funny female teenagers on screen I would be delighted to hear from you. Please comment below.

This is a post for’s blog writing challenge. One blog post a day for all of June – I’m behind already but determined to catch up #wpad
nurse jackiesarah lund

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