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By Rebecca Norris · January 29, 2018
It seems like an easy question to answer, but it can often be frustratingly elusive: what screenplay genres should you be writing? You’ve probably heard that in order to increase your chances of screenwriting success, you should specialize in a specific area of expertise. But what if you enjoy multiple genres? Like romantic comedies and sci-fi and westerns? Should you write a love story between two space aliens who travel back in time to settle the Wild West? (Probably not…but you never know what might work!)
The key to longevity in this business is to work on projects and material that you love, that will carry you through the long nights of writing and potential years of submissions, development, and yes, those inevitable rejections (and bottles of wine) along the way.
But what if you’re not quite sure yet what you love to write? That’s where the following quiz comes in: to help you narrow down your interests and preferences, and help show you what genres might be right for you.
So, without further adieu…
After you’ve taken the quiz and have discovered what genre you should be writing, you might want to take a peek at another piece of mine, How to Increase Your Luck in Screenwriting Contests.
Below are all of the potential outcomes, so you can satisfy your curiosity.
You crave fast-paced action and excitement! Anything too sentimental or slow puts you to sleep. You should consider penning scripts in the Action and Adventure genres.
You’re always two steps ahead of the killer in any mystery or thriller, and love to be left in suspense! If you weren’t a writer, you’d be a detective or forensics expert. You should consider penning scripts in the Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense genres.
You’re fascinated by the world of organized crime and complex characters who struggle with morality (or don’t have any at all)! You enjoy reading about the exploits of famous gangsters like Al Capone and John Dillinger, and also the psychology of more modern day criminals and lawbreakers. You should consider penning scripts in the Crime and Gangster genres.
You wouldn’t shy away from writing a shootout scene, yet you want your main character to have a strong moral compass and strive to do the right thing. You should consider penning scripts in the Western genre!
You’re a sucker for a compelling conflict, rather real or imagined. You love writing tear-jerking, heartfelt moments and emotional battles for your characters to face. You should consider penning scripts in the Drama and/or Period Piece, Historical Fiction, or Biopic genres.
Check out ScreenCraft’s Drama Feature Script Contest.
You thrive on true stories and are glued to the screen during documentaries. You love researching real people’s lives and don’t mind spending weeks in the library digging for stories. You should consider penning scripts in Period Piece, Historical Fiction, or Biopic genres.
You’re fascinated by all things sick and twisted. Whether you’re writing about the psychology of a serial killer or simply slashing up victims in the woods, blood and guts don’t faze you in the least. You should consider penning scripts in the Horror genre.
Check out ScreenCraft’s Horror Screenplay Contest.
You love to dream about technology and worlds that spring from your imagination. Whether it’s an alien life form on a never-before-seen planet, or a mystical, magical, fairyland, your writing isn’t bound by the confines of “reality.” You should consider penning scripts in the Sci-Fi and/or Fantasy genres.
You simply can’t resist the temptation to add jokes to most any scene or punch up the ones that are already there. You love to make people laugh, and your writing tends to focus on the lighter side of life. You should consider penning scripts in the Comedy or Romantic Comedy genres.
Check out ScreenCraft’s Comedy Screenplay Contest.
You love music and can’t help but notice the musical score in any film you watch. You may already compose your own music, or be a wordsmith with poetry for song lyrics. Your writing can reflect the lighter side of life, but you aren’t afraid to also tackle heavier issues that need exploring in a creative and unique way. You should consider penning scripts in the Musical and/or Animation genres.
Check out the rest of ScreenCraft’s Screenwriting Contests here.
Rebecca Norris is a producer, writer, and filmmaker with her production company, Freebird Entertainment. Her recent award-winning feature film, Cloudy With a Chance of Sunshine, has been distributed on Amazon Streaming and DVD. Rebecca is also a script analyst and consultant who has read for many companies, including Sundance, ScreenCraft, Bluecat, and the International Emmys, as well as her own script consultancy, Script Authority. Rebecca blogs for Screencraft, The Script Lab, WeScreenplay and Script Magazine, exploring the film writing and production process and encouraging writers to produce their own work. Follow Rebecca’s posts on Twitter at @beckaroohoo!