What Genre Should You Write?
I often get asked, “I’m good at writing in just about any genre. Should I have spec scripts in each genre or just one?” The short answer… write what you’re good at. Write what you know you can write well.
I can hear some of you saying, “But Tony, I can write anything! I’m really good at every genre!” To that I say, “Bullshit!” Let me ask you a question. Let’s say you need a plumber, and electrician, and an auto mechanic. You look in the Yellow Pages and stumble across a guy that says he can do all three things. Would you really hire him to do all three jobs? Chances are he might be really good at one of those and most likely mediocre at best on the other two. It’s a gamble on which two.
“But it’s a bargain, Tony!” Not if your television changes channels and your car alarm goes off every time you flush the toilet! Most likely you wouldn’t take that risk and producers definitely won’t take that chance. If you’re better at one genre, stick with it and write the hell out of it. Market yourself as a writer in one genre. Producers are more apt to go with a writer that says they are strong in one are.
If you really are good at writing at several genres, then do it creatively. If your genre of choice is Horror, but you also like writing Comedy, write a Horror/Comedy. When the producers buy your script they will market it as one or the other, that way you don’t have to make the choice.
Another thing to take into consideration is what producers are looking for. The two genres I mentioned above are always easier sells because they are both low budget. As a beginner screenwriter, make sure that you’re writing with a small budget in mind. Producers will always shy away from high budget screenplays from new writers. Always do your research. Read the industry magazines to find out what producers want.
In the end, write what you’re good at. Write what producers are looking for. Write for a small budget. If you’re honestly good at writing multiple genres, make sure you’re picking one or at least combining them to write for your strengths. The goal is to sell your script. Unless you’ve already got a name you’ll need to keep it simple. Until next week, happy writing.