Sunday, 7 July 2019

How Not To Write Female Characters by Lucy V Hay + #FreeBook + #Giveaway

How Not To Write Female Characters
Published in the UK in September 2015.

Ebook editions of How Not To Write Female Characters by Lucy V Hay are currently Free via Amazon, but if you'd prefer a paperback, scroll down to try your luck in the Giveaway! 

Add How Not To Write Female Characters to your Goodreads

Female characters. When fifty per cent of your potential target audience is female, if you’re not writing them in your screenplay or novel? You’re making a BIG mistake!

But how should you approach your female characters? That’s the million-dollar question … After all, women in real life are complex, varied and flawed. Knowing where to start in creating three dimensional female characters for your story is extremely difficult.

So … perhaps it’s easier to figure out how NOT to write female characters?

Script editor, novelist and owner of the UK’s top screenwriting blog, Lucy V Hay has spent the last fifteen years reading the slush pile. She has learned to spot the patterns, pitfalls and general mistakes writers make when writing female characters – and why.

In How Not To Write Female Characters, Lucy outlines:

•WHO your character is & how to avoid “classic” traps and pitfalls
•WHAT mistakes writers typically make with female characters
•WHERE you can find great female characters in produced and published content
•WHEN to let go of gender politics and agendas
•WHY female characters are more important than ever

Lucy is on a mission to improve your writing, as well as enable diverse voices and characters to rise to the top of the spec pile.


Lucy Hay's How Not To Write Female Characters is only a short book, but one which contains a good number and variety of pointers for aspiring writers. Despite its title, the advice isn't all negative which I appreciated because a long list of Don'ts can be very discouraging! Instead, Hay briefly discusses typical female characterisations from film, television and novels across the past thirty years or so. She shows how our sense of their role has evolved, but also the ways in those roles still stagnate. It is somewhat depressing that such a book should actually be so needed in the 21st century - we've not come so far after all - but, that said, How Not To Write Female Characters is a good thought-provoking discussion starter for writers in all media.


'A timely guide to creating original characters and reinvigorating tired storylines. '

- Debbie Moon, creator and showrunner, Wolfblood (BBC)

'Lucy V. Hay nails it'

- Stephen Volk, BAFTA-winning screenwriter: Ghostwatch, Afterlife, The Awakening

'Packed with practical and inspirational insights'

- Karol Griffiths, development consultant and script editor, clients include ITV, BBC, Warner Brothers

'A top-notch, cutting-edge guide to writing and selling, not just practical but inspirational. Lucy's distinctive voice infuses the entire journey. Quite brilliant. Here's the woman who'll help you make things happen.'

- Barbara Machin, award-winning writer & creator of Waking the Dead

'Delivers the stirring call to arms that writers must not only write, but take their work to the next level themselves, making sacrifices and taking risks if they want to see their stories on screen.'

- Chris Jones, Filmmaker, Screenwriter & Creative Director at the London Screenwriters Festival

‘Writing and Selling Thriller Screenplays is a must-read for any writer, producer or director looking to create (or in the process of creating) a thriller production. It could also be immensely useful for those generally curious about the genre or looking to learn more.’ - Film Doctor

‘Lucy V Hay explains what a script reader and editor's role in filmmaking, tells you to work on your concepts and that dialogue is the last thing to work on in her new book.’ - Brit Flicks

Meet the author

Lucy V. Hay is an author, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. Lucy is the producer of two Brit Thrillers, DEVIATION (2012) and ASSASSIN (2015), as well as the script editor and advisor on numerous other features and shorts.  Lucy's also the author of  WRITING AND SELLING THRILLER SCREENPLAYS for Kamera Books' "Creative Essentials" range, as well as its follow ups on DRAMA SCREENPLAYS and DIVERSE CHARACTERS.

Author links: 
InstagramFacebook ~ Twitter

And now it's time for the Giveaway!

Win a paperback edition of How Not To Write Female Characters by Lucy V Hay
(Open until the 21st July 2019, UK entries Only) 

Please enter using the Gleam widget below. The winner will be selected at random via Gleam from all valid entries and will be notified by email. If no response is received within 3 days then the winner will forfeit the prize and, yes, I will be checking that the winning task was actually carried out!

How Not To Write Female Characters by Lucy V Hay PB giveaway

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  1. That sounds like it had some good ideas.

    1. Some great ideas and Hay has an inspiring way of putting her message across!

  2. Congrats to Anna F for winning the How Not To Write Female Characters by Lucy V Hay #LiteraryFlits book #giveaway!!

    If that's not you, there's lots more #giveaways here: