Screenwriting : Genre writing by John Luerding

John Luerding

Genre writing

I was just replying to a msg from here when it dawned on me. Do you all prefer to work in one genre of writing, or do you spread yourself out? For myself, I like horror, mainly because it is really cheap to produce. ( I think Friday the 13 and Halloween were done for less than 15k each.) lol I also wouldn't mind writing a western and space. Although space I'm concerned would be to comparable to Star Wars. It would seem anything written about space would be launched into that arena.

C.m. Andino

All the "experts" say to focus on one genre, at least at the beginning of your career. But I just cannot seem to do this. I've posted six loglines two period dramas, one contemporary drama, a crime/suspense, and two sci-fis. If you take a look at my desert island films you'll see that my writing reflects my eclectic taste in movies. It seems a shame to place such harsh limitations on writers.

John Luerding

LOL I know.. why limit yourself to just one area when there is just sooooo much. I love horror even though I can't watch it. Write yes.. watch no. LOL I also like to write historical thriller/drama. I have in my life thought wouldn't it be great to watch a t.v. show about Vikings.. and well now we have one.. I thought of a t.v. show called Sleepy Hollow.. and well now we have one... I thought of a show that depicted the Medieval ages.. and the Todurs, Reign, Game of Thrones.. It's like I get beat at the pass every time LOL course those were the thoughts of a teen age kid growing up without the internet and things such as Netflix or Hulu.

C.m. Andino

I literally had like twenty notebooks with a novel so incredibly similar to Game of Thrones that I wrote in high school. My parents tossed them when I moved out. Or did they?;)

William Martell

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY was made for $15k, HALLOWEEN was made for $300k, FRIDAY THE 13th was in the $500k range.

Anthony Cawood

I write in the genre's I like... IF i become sucessful, that's when I'll worry about picking a genre ;-)

Kerry Douglas Dye

I'm mostly horror these days. Black comedy is my other biggie. Though I recently got an idea for a family-friendly sci-fi movie, so who knows?

Cherie Grant

Comedy. I seem to veer towards comedy every time.

John Luerding

@William Thanks for the clarification William. I can get my dollar signs confused with projects.. just wish I'd confuse a few more zeros and a few 2s and 3s my way also lol

Chas Franko Fisher

I keep genre hopping with every spec I write (e.g. supernatural thriller to pirate ship murder mystery to scifi buddy comedy to biopic). Usually I start with a theme, concept and character and just write in the genre that most calls to me for THAT story. That said, every single advisor I've had has told me that it would be better for "breaking in" to build up a body of work in a single genre because it's easier for reps to sell you as - for example - the "thriller guy". But I can't help myself. I write what I'm called to. Otherwise, what would be the point?

John Luerding

@Chas.. I do the same thing.. then when I'm asked.. what do you write I reply.. Horror, then if they don't like it and ask if I have something else.. I can lean into.. well I've been toying with this.....

Pierre Langenegger

My story tells me what genre it wants to be. The last two to be produced was a Crime/Comedy and a Horror.

Phil Parker

I was tempted to write in a new genre for my next script, but as others have mentioned here, the wise-word is to stick to one genre when you are starting out, then branch out when you have built your reputation and can do your own thing. It feels restrictive, but Hollywood likes to pigeonhole people, to define them, so they know what they can expect from you.... that's what I've read and heard, at least.

Eddie Evans

I like writing in horror there is so much you can do in horror

Taylor Evans

I mainly write fantasy but I have just completed a psychological horror script

John Luerding

@Eddie, I agree. Horror to me, offers up a huge amount of maneuvering room to scare the crap out of people. :)

Eddie Evans

you can blend horror with any other genres

Eddie Evans

My new horror script is called Cory a coming of age horror story about a teen girl.

Rosalind Winton

Hi John, I work with a client who is a writer, and she has written a children's picture book, an epic trilogy, and is right now writing a crime thriller. I think that author's don't necessarily have to stick to one genre, it makes things interesting and gives the author more scope :)

John Luerding

I don't like to sticking to one genre of writing. I start on a script and then i'm launched into a western. I start to write a story in the world of westerns, and an idea comes to my head for a space story... I'm at times all over the map. When I do settle down though, I push all things aside and nail a script home. Getting that first shell done can be such a labor of love. Then days just seem to meld together as I work on smoothing and polishing and my idea of polishing is smooth as glass, but then more often than not, some one comes behind and says, "Dang you got a lot of work to do." lol that's when I go out and fall face first into a pool of water.

Fiona Faith Ross

I read once (somewhere) that you don't find your genre, your genre finds you. This has been true for me. Sci-Fi seems to be my genre, and refining that, Sci-Fi/Dystopian/YA/Family or soft Sci-Fi. I'm more than happy with that, although I recently discovered (pleased to say) that I can write rom-com too.

Elisabeth Meier

I write what I like and don't care about the genre before I begin to write. When you then ask me afterwards to what genre the script belongs to, I mostly need a moment because I don't care. It is the story that counts and most stories are mixed or cross genres - in my opinion.

Eddie Evans

Everything I write is horror, on occasions I will write a cross over. people always talk about rules to writing a good story. well I don't buy that, as long as the story is entertaining & you can relate to the characters. I understand the need for feedback but to put it simple everyone a critic.

Rafael Pinero

Good horror is difficult to write, I love the genre, I want my next film to be a horror movie.

Eddie Evans

it can be hard but most of what I write just flows the script I writing now Cory it's a great story ever time I seat down & work on it. It becomes like second nature

Stuart Wright

While Friday 13th and Halloween were profitable they were much more than $15k to shoot

Fiona Faith Ross

Stephen King, for me, is the master of horror stories, both physical and psychological. I mostly can't watch horror movies if there is too much blood and gore, and especially violence against women, but I like psychological thrillers.

Stuart Wright

@John Luerding ... where have got information that says Friday 13th and Halloween were made for $15k? Fascinated to know

Shane M Wheeler

Almost all horror, budget and tastes both in line. However, once I hit sub-genre and blended genre, it diversifies quickly. I have horror drama, slashers, sci-fi, pseudo-thrillers, monster movies, B-movies, horror comedies, and even a horror-superhero flick. I've not yet written anything purely outside of horror that originated with me, but I do have outlines in the wings, just in case.

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

John: I will tackle any genre. I've written action, thriller, sci-fi, war picture, biopics and a western. Some of it was work for hire stuff. I'd actually like to write comedy in the near future.

Sarah Gabrielle Baron

I like to try different genres. I have tried fanstasy, horror, sci-fi, political drama & children's.

Eddie Evans

Sarah like your views on writing. it is a art form of one emotions

Doug Nelson

I think that free range story creation comes before genre boundaries and every writer ought to explore each realm in turn. Some genre will be more comfortable for writers than others and eventually, every writer will find his place in the writing world. I’ve tried several but somehow, I manage to feel best in the paranormal genre, comedy, relationship and feel-good drama genres. I often mix and match. Personally, I don’t like horror, docudramas or dark drama. That’s just me.

Rafael Pinero

Paranormal genre, one of my favourites, although I thought that was also horror

Stuart Wright

It's horror semantics ... For some reason non horror people I talk to seem to think horror = gore / violence. Whereas supernatural appeals to those people as a safer bet.

Brian Shell

Personally, I write what I have lived. It's top-of-consciousness, and (at the time) it's a time when I'm an expert on it (before time washes away the memories).

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