Sensitivity Readers Assemble: How to Write More Authentic Characters
Culture is ever-shifting and the savvy writer is moving with the times. The really smart ones are facilitating story evolution.
I mean, who would predict a movie about a doll would not only be a smash hit, but also impact and reflect culture so profoundly.
Barbie wasn’t just for children. A four quadrant hit, it’s a movie that appealed to male, female, old and young alike for its humour and sass, but also its thought-provoking narrative that doesn’t preach or condescend to its viewers.
Barbie was a hit precisley BECAUSE it was authentic, sensitive and addressed the times we find ourselves creating our own stories within.
It was also laugh out loud funnny. Consistently. And that’s Not something we often associate with scripts that have been sensistivity read.
OK. So we may prickle at the phrase, ‘sensitivity reader’
…and perhaps there is a better phrase for it.
However, audiences are evolving and we need to stay ahead of that curve.
Have you ever read a book, or watched a TV show or movie and felt uncomfortable with the way a certain group of people were depicted? Or maybe you couldn’t quite put your finger on it, but something about the writing just didn’t feel right. You may well have been inside that group, or know some who is.
This is where sensitivity reading comes in!
Far from being ‘censorship’ or ‘wokism gone mad’, sensitivity reading is really just about AUTHENTICITY CHECKING.
When: October 14th (Saturday)
Writers ask experts like police officers, lawyers, doctors, teachers for their feedback to make their stories more authentic all the time.
In the same way, sensitivity readers have real, lived experience of being a member of a community or culture that can help writers make their characters more nuanced and layered.
And make no mistake, audiences are demanding diverse and authentic story telling. And so studios, execs and producers are seeking projects with true voices that authentically interweave these diverse characters and voices into ALL stories being produced.
In this new course from Bang2write and LondonSWF, B2W’s Lucy V will put sensitivity reading under the microscope in this intensive, one day Zoom workshop (with one year replay).
‘Lucy is both wise and candid, and extremely generous both with her knowledge and her time. She was able to steer the course to take account of each individual’s interests and questions and her feedback to us was always positive and constructive. This world of writing can often feel isolated and lonely, but from the offset Lucy made us collaborators, not competitors, so I now feel that I have not only a wealth of information, but a whole new attitude. A great course and I feel industry ready!’
Suzy Enoch // Screenwriter, Novelist, Actor, Director
During the course, you will learn:
- How ‘authenticity’ has become the watch-word for the industry and how use that to elevate your work
- Why authenticity is in demand from agents, producers & publishers
- How to access deeper emotional truth in your writing, making it more resonant and fresh
- How copying stories from the past is a BIG mistake in the 2020s
- How to more effectively research and do ‘due diligence’ to make your script feel like it was written for audiences of today
- How to become a sensitivity reader yourself and earn £££$$$ helping other writers get optioned
- Why you DON’T need to be scared of writing characters UNlike yourself and WHY this is a doorway to success
- How to write characters, stories and visualise situations that audiences want in 2023 and beyond
Rather than seeing restriction, seeking authenticity will deepen the emotional impact of your work.
It will leave the reader with a sense that you have your finger on the cultural pulse of today. And you work will inherently become more powerful and ‘fresh’.
It’s all upside.
Sensitivity reading is now a mainstream process and tool that savvy writers are leveraging, in order to create more meaningful and resonant stories. You should too.
Join us and take direct and specific steps to make your work feel fresh, contemporary, producible and deepen the emotional authenticity in your characters journey.
More Feedback For Lucy
‘Lucy’s very knowledgeable. The course was action packed. If it were a film, it would be Die Hard.’
Mohammed Tahir // Writer, Director
‘Lucy is an excellent teacher and speaker. Her enthusiasm is very inspiring. I got a lot of very useful information, tips and ideas to proceed with my stories and my carrier as a writer. Cool!’
Nathalie Wechsler-Seibel // Writer for TV, film, podcasts, books and multimedia
‘I’ve read Lucy’s blog for years and always found her approachable and full of realistic, actionable advice. I’m happy to say that in person, she’s the same way.’
Valerie Kalfrin // Film critic, Screenwriter
‘All the information was valuable, pertinent and honest. I appreciate Lucy’s candid, straightforward approach.’
Erica Ruhe // Writer
‘TONS of very practical advice and actionable ideas. Lucy was very straight talking, well informed and had an experience of virtually any situation to recount. I can’t think of anyone better to learn from.’
Mary Took // Writer for play and film, short stories and novels
‘Lucy is no-bullshit about the industry and what’s expected. You get TRUTH! She’s so thorough and extensive in what she covers without missing the details. I loved that Lucy sent us scripts and documents too. Extra goodness!‘
Guy Lambert // Screenwriter and producer and script guy!
Lucy V. Hay is a script editor, author and blogger who helps writers. She’s been the script editor and advisor on numerous UK features and shorts & has also been a script reader for over 15 years, providing coverage for indie prodcos, investors, screen agencies, producers, directors and individual writers. She’s also an author, publishing as LV Hay and Lizzie Fry; Lizzie’s latest, THE COVEN, is out now with Sphere Books and LV’s debut crime novel THE OTHER TWIN is being adapted by the Emmy-nominated Free@Last TV. Lucy’s site at www.bang2write.com has appeared in Top 100 round ups for Writer’s Digest & The Write Life, as well as been a UK Blog Awards Finalist and Feedspot’s #1 Screenwriting blog in the UK (tenth in the world!).