Writers Store

The action world is full of memorable one-liners. Gangster films have sinister mobsters and ruthless hoodlums. Dramas are all about serious realism while screwball comedies can get away with fart jokes.  Adventure films have exotic locales, but if you’re writing a western, you better have dusty towns and six-shooters. Science fiction scores with aliens and futuristic technology. And when it comes to slasher films, don’t hold back – the audience is actually rooting for the killer.

Understanding film genres (and sub-genres) is important, because let’s be honest: people rarely go to the movies to be surprised.  They know the action hero will survive, that the girl will get the guy, and the villains their just deserts. Nobody goes to a rom-com to face reality.

The truth is that love is hell and sometimes the bad guys win, but in the movies, love is a holy elixir and the hero always saves the day. Screenwriting is not about reinventing the wheel. The key to writing a sellable script is to understand the genre and meet the expectations of its audience.


Action: Action-Comedy, Disaster Film, Girls with Guns, War

Adventure: Swashbuckler

Animated: Anime, Adult, Children, Family, Musical

Children: Animal, Animated, Musical

Comedy: Anarchic, Action, Black (Dark), Horror, Dramedy, Pardody/Spoof, Rom-Com, Slapstick

Crime: Mob/Gangsters, Film Noir, Neo-Noir, Crime-Thriller

Drama: Biography, Courtroom, Dramady, Historical, Melodrama, Period Piece, Political, Romance, Tragedy

Epic: Bio-Pic, Historical, War, Religious

Family: Animated, Comedy, Musical

Fantasy:Bangsian, High-Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery

Horror: Comedy, Teen, Monster, Slasher, Supernatural, Zombie

Musical: Animated, Broadway, Family

Mystery/Suspense: Closed-Mystery, Film-Noir, Open-Mystery

Romance: Romantic Comedy, Romantic Drama

Science Fiction: Alien, Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Monsters and Mutants, Time Travel

Sports: Bio-Pic, Comedy, Drama, Family

Supernatural: Comedy, Horror, Religious, Thriller

Thriller: Action, Crime, Film-Noir, Psychological, Sci-Fi, Religious

Western: Contemporary, Revisionist, Spaghetti