It’s the only resource that we use but can never get back, and you have to spend your time doing what you love
Your decision to work on a script means you’ll be spending anywhere from one month to two years or more on a script. Heaven helps you if you don’t love it and go into production.
What We’re Going To Cover
- How to find your writer’s voice.
- Why you will become a more successful writer if you find your favorite genre.
- Why it’s better to pigeonhole yourself than have someone else do it for you.
- The key to marketing your book or film.
Finding Your Writer’s Voice
Many writers spend far too long trying to find their voice. If you be quiet and listen, your voice will find you.
These questions will help guide you towards your voice as a writer. Every writer’s voice is different, and your life experiences form it. Barry Jenkins grew up in Florida before he wrote Moonlight. His life experience gave him a specific tone that only he could portray.
If you enjoy a more eclectic assortment of genres and types of films, that is fine too because you have the ability to create genre-bending scripts. These scripts are incredibly hard to execute, but immensely successful when done right. Think Wes Anderson or Tim Burton
You need to write in the genre that you are most attracted to because you increase your likelihood of finishing the script if you enjoy the type of story you are writing.
Become A More Productive Writer
I’ve begun a ton of different scripts in genres I didn’t love because I thought they would sell. Dramas that would get nominated for an Academy Award. Then I became self-aware. I started to realize that the stories I was writing weren’t going to be great. They would be mediocre at best, and unfinished at worst.
If you write in the genre that you love and stop trying to force yourself into a genre that you think will be profitable, you will write more. It’s as simple as that.
Finding Your Niche, Becoming Pigeonholed
There is an old saying that you are better off to pigeonhole yourself rather than let someone else do it for you. Because you will end up in a niche of some kind, and isn’t it better to choose that for yourself?
Being pigeonholed means that people who have no experience with your work will think of you as the “action-gal” or “fantasy-guy.” If you write a killer spec in a genre that you dislike, you will become known for that genre for the first few years of your career.
Like it or not, your genre will define the marketability of your movie. Log on to Amazon.com and go to the movies and TV section. Navigate to the genres that you can choose from and click one.
This is why your genre is so important. Your film will be placed alongside other films according to the genre, and those genres each have their own audience expectations. If you’re unable to meet those expectations because you don’t love, and have studied, the genre. Your film won’t stand out among the others.
On top of that, many producers, directors, or managers have a type of screenwriter they like to represent. Being able to send your comedy spec to a comedy producer will be much more successful for you than trying to send it to a hard-drama producer.
How Do You Find Your Favorite Genre
If you’re unsure what genre is calling you to your destiny, try these three exercises.
- Rank your top five favorite movies. The films that you could watch over and over, or quote every line.
- Watch movie trailers on YouTube and make notes of the genre or type of stories you gravitate towards.
- Answer this: If you could’ve written one film from the past hundred years. What would it be?
In the end, writing should be an enjoyable experience for you. If you force yourself to write in a genre or style, that is not in your voice. You will struggle to write a good script.
Your time is better spent writing in the genre that you love, even if you complete fewer scripts. Those scripts will be of higher quality and you will benefit far greater from them.
Commit now by commenting what genre you will be writing in from now on. As a result, you’ll become a better writer.