James Moran

is creating writing & filmmaking insights and advice
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  • Patron-only blog posts - regular blog posts showing you the life of a working writer, warts and all! Sneak a look over my shoulder at my work life, find out what I'm up to and what I'm watching. 
Includes Discord rewards
per month
Includes Discord rewards
per month

Includes all of the above benefits and:

  • Q&A monthly posts - ask me anything about work, writing, filmmaking, or what the TARDIS is like...
Includes Discord rewards
per month

Includes all of the above benefits and:

  • Behind the Scenes monthly posts - go behind the curtain into my work life, see snippets of early drafts, deleted scenes, even sneak peeks of upcoming stuff (shhh!)
Includes Discord rewards
per month

Includes all of the above benefits and:

  • Live video hangout - join in the monthly live video chat, ask questions, or catch up on the mayhem later
Includes Discord rewards
Limited (20 remaining)
per month

Includes all of the above benefits and:

  • Email help - once a month, email me a question for a personal email reply! Numbers VERY limited!

(Note: I can't read your work for legal reasons)

Includes Discord rewards
Limited (5 remaining)
per month

Includes all of the above benefits and:

  • One on one video chat - every month, for 30 minutes, wherever I am in the world, let’s chat! Numbers limited!
Includes Discord rewards



About James Moran

Who am I?

I’m James Moran, writer, director, and filmmaker. I wrote the movies Severance, Cockneys Vs Zombies, Tower Block, and TV episodes of Doctor Who, Torchwood, Spooks (called MI-5 in the US), Primeval, Crusoe, Crossing Lines, The Sparticle Mystery, and Eve.

Here's my writing showreel - beware, some exploding zombie heads and violence, if you're watching this at work, or with young kids, or with zombies, or if you work with kids and zombies:

So what is this all about?

I'm putting all my future writing advice, behind the scenes insight and discussion in one place - right here. Basically, I’ll bring you behind the curtain and talk about the nuts and bolts of how I work. Think of it as an ongoing writing & filmmaking seminar, tailored to your comments & questions, including:

  • Nuts & Bolts posts on tips and techniques I use
  • Breakdowns of my own produced work from idea to finished product
  • Discussions of popular movies to show how they structure their setups and payoffs
  • Monthly Q&A posts
  • Behind the scenes insights into the life of a working writer
  • Glimpses at early drafts and deleted scenes
  • Monthly live video chats

I’ll answer questions every month, sometimes delving into the archives to show you early draft pages or deleted scenes from my produced work - what was edited out of my Doctor Who episode, what was the early version of the opening sequence of Severance, which characters got the chop before Tower Block started filming? There’ll be video group chats, photos of where I’m at and what I’m doing. I’ll even give you a sneak peek into what I’m working on, if you promise not to tell anyone...

There'll be posts about how I developed my voice, how I write for TV compared to film, how I build a story - all talking through my process. This is not a “how to write” scheme, this is showing you how *I* do things, and how I make it work. I’ve had quite a lot of stuff made - in addition to the TV and film stuff, I’ve written audio plays, short stories, articles, and webseries Girl Number 9 and Mina Murray’s Journal. I’ve been a guest speaker at film schools, conventions, conferences, and regularly run a writing workshop, most recently at YouTube Space London. So my process works well for me, and I learn new things every time.

If there are any big announcements, you'll get to hear about them before anyone else - new jobs, new projects, and so on. And some of the behind the scenes posts will be a bit more personal, talking about what’s been happening in my daily writing life, good and bad, the fun stuff as well as the struggles - I can be more candid in these posts, because they're not public, you'll get a more honest, unvarnished insight into what it's really like to do this for a living. In the future, depending how this goes, we’ll look at possible public events in the real world. Yes! I’m scared too! And obviously you’ll get first dibs on all that.

This is a monthly thing, so how many posts do you get? Well, that depends. Every month, there'll be at least one Nuts & Bolts writing process post, at least one Patron-only blog, at least one Behind the Scenes post, one monthly Q&A post, and one live video hangout. Sometimes there'll be more than one Nuts & Bolts and/or Behind the Scenes, post, and usually more than one Patron-only blog post (these could be short thoughts or several pages of stuff, depending on what's happening in my life). If for any reason (work, life, illness, catastrophic weather, Kaiju attacks) I have to skip a month, I'll let you know.

All the posts and videos will stay archived so you can access them anytime. I'll jump into the comments on posts when I can, to keep the conversation going. And you’ll be able to suggest topics for me to cover. It’s a work in progress - if you want more of one thing and less of another, just let me know. This is for you, after all!

So why should you chip in for this, when there's so much writing advice online? There's a lot of it around, sure. But everything I post will be from the perspective of an actual, working writer, who has been in the industry since 2003, showing you how I break stories and get the words down on the page, day by day. You also get a much more personal interaction, so the posts will be more tailored to things you want answers to.

But writers are all rich, right?

Ha. Hahaha. Haaaaaaaahahahahaha. Yeah, no, not so much.

Sure, some writers are, but the majority live from job to job, never knowing when the next paying gig is coming from. You might be incredibly busy for several months, you might not. Even if you’re busy, you might not get paid for a while, until the contract is done - even then, it’s paid in stages, on signature, delivery, next draft, revisions, etc.

Writing income is random, not a fixed, monthly thing - but we still live in a society based around the monthly salary system. Bills and rent need paying every single month, they don’t care if you’re waiting for a delayed payment, or if it’s just a quiet time of year. I love writing about writing, but it is work and takes a lot of time, so it can only happen with your patronage.

How will your patronage help??

Well, I'll be able to do regular posts about writing, and show you what it's like behind the scenes. I'll know that every post is going directly to people who will find it useful, rather than disappearing into the void of the internet. You'll get access to my brain. But there's also an added benefit.

Back in 2008, there was a period of several months where I was working on 4 different TV shows at once. Big deal, lucky me, right? Well, yes and no. I took on way too much work, because I was terrified that if I said no, the offers would dry up, my career would end, and I’d die penniless in a ditch. This is a common fear writers have, and it Never. Goes. Away. So I got way too busy, massively stressed, couldn’t eat or sleep properly, and completely burned out. I got through the TV episodes, then at the end of the year, I just... stopped. I had to. That first morning waking up with no deadlines was blissful. But then, after a few days, the fear of no more work set in. And so it continued.

Burnout is a big problem for writers. Because you work on your own schedule, if you’re busy, you tend to avoid breaks, or evenings, or weekends, and stretch yourself too thin. The anxiety most of us get plays into this, making us feel guilty if we’re not working every second of the day. Having some sort of regular, steady income helps, so that you can turn things down when you have to. I supplement my income with other types of writing jobs, but again, they’re never on a steady monthly schedule. This Patreon will REALLY help me stay healthy, sane, and creatively fulfilled.

I’ll be able to relax slightly in months when there’s either no work or no scheduled income (it’s hard to be creative under the pressure of an electricity bill). I’ll also be able to balance my paid writing work more carefully, and get on with my work without having to worry as much. And, for you, I’ll be able to talk about the process of writing a lot more than I have been.

Sure, I could just keep blogging at the old site, or keep making more YouTube videos, but I just can’t afford to do that anymore. This is a solution that works for everyone - I get paid to do it, and you get MORE content than you would have done otherwise, including exclusive stuff nobody else will see. Besides, YouTube don’t let you monetise your channel anymore, unless you hit a ridiculously high views/hours count - my webseries Mina Murray's Journal has pulled in a lot of viewers, but I don't get any advertising kickbacks from it. Patreon puts the power over my own work back in my hands, and helps me get more of it out to you.

Access to most of the main stuff here is kept at lower prices, so I don’t exclude people. If you can afford more, that’s brilliant, and you’ll get the extra in-depth stuff that takes longer to do. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without your support, so thank you in advance.


For various boring legal and personal reasons, I can’t read your work, so please don’t send it to me, or send me ideas. It opens me up to legal problems, and can actually put me off writing something if your idea is similar to mine. Also, there are not enough hours in the day to do all my own work, post on here, *and* read/critique your work. None of us would get anything done. It’d be chaos. I’d cry. Like, I’d really, really ugly-cry, there’d be snot and everything. Nobody wants that.

And finally:

Thank you. Thank you so much. Every single contribution helps, and lowers my stress levels... I'm really excited about doing this with you. Let's have some fun together!
11% complete
This will help pay a big chunk of my rent, and give me a bit more room to breathe every month. I'll also do a special thank you video that all patrons can see.
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