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  • Writer's pictureLee Hamilton

5 Tips for Choosing A Screenwriting Genre


One of the most frequent questions we get from writers submitting to our contests is which genre should they choose to categorize their script. There are 14 basic genres that our writers can list their scripts under, but what if your script is a combination of two different genres or even a mashup of several?


Fortunately, we have an ‘other’ category to use as a fail-safe for scripts that don’t necessarily fall under the umbrella of being a single genre, and there’s also the option to leave a comment for the reader if you want to detail the sub-genre or list whatever combination of genres your story has. But how can you decide what genre your story truly is, and does it even really matter? Let’s take a look…

HOW TO CLASSIFY YOUR SCRIPT

Most movies are a combination of two or three different genres, so here’s how can you know which category to list your script under when you can only choose one.

1) Identify what elements and conventions feature more prominently in your story. Focus on the A-Story. If your love story is the A-story, rather than the B-story subplot, you’ve got a Romance. If the story has lots of fast-paced fights, chase scenes, or catastrophic disasters occurring, you’ve got an Action movie, etc. Understanding the expected fundamentals of your chosen genre is key here. So, reading existing, successful scripts can be a real help. If you want to read scripts, why not take look at our bespoke script collections, free to read and download from our website.


2) Another way to approach the problem is to look at the role that your protagonist is fulfilling. Identifying their archetype can help determine the genre too. A warrior may be the lead in an Action movie, a victim; a Horror, an outlaw; a Crime movie, the joker; a Comedy, etc.


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