NOTE: See additional handouts below this assignment.
THIS WEEK’S ASSIGNMENT:
The assignment is to write a short screenplay that’s tailored to a GENRE. It should be five pages at most.
- Should be a finished story with a clear beginning, middle and end, not just part of a longer story.
- In doing this assignment it’s usually best to start with a genre that you know and love and are very familiar with.
- Some popular genres include fantasy, science fiction, horror, romance, bromance, womance, drama, comedy, relationship drama, historical drama, mystery, thriller, spy, crime, romance, and pulp fiction.
- Some genres have sub-genres. For example, time travel stories, alien invasion stories, technology gone awry stories are all sub-genres of science fiction.
- Pick a genre you feel would be interesting to explore, and write a short story influenced by it. (For example, a crime story might revolve around a murder or robbery. A time travel story might center around the experiences of a traveler from the far future or distant past. A relationship drama might revolve around characters needing to face and resolve a situation such as a bad marriage, an unwanted pregnancy, a flirtation that threatens a marriage, a child being accused of a crime, or a death in the family.)
- Try to include enough known genre elements that people reading it or hearing it read will recognize your genre within the first two pages.
- If you have a script you’re writing, you can write a few pages from it instead.
ELEMENTS TO INCLUDE:
PROPS – choose one or two, and make sure you use them somehow in your story:
- six pack of beer
- pack of cigarettes
- toy gun
DIALOGUE – include this line: “I don’t want it.”
CHARACTERS – choose two or more:
- ULNA: Elderly woman; has made her living as a writer
- EMMA: high school teacher
- PAUL: unemployed; looking for a job
- MICKEY: doctor
- KAY: counselor or therapist
- LON: ex-murderer (once killed someone in anger; trying not to do so again)
Need some help in thinking about genres? Here’s a list of some common ones:
- Crime/detective – story or movie about a crime, how the criminal gets caught (or doesn’t), and the repercussions of the crime
- Fantasy – movie with strange or otherworldly settings or characters
- Folklore – the songs, stories, myths, and proverbs of a people or “folk” as handed down by word of mouth
- Historical – story with fictional characters and events in a historical setting
- Horror – movie in which events evoke a feeling of dread and sometimes fear in both the characters and the reader
- Magical realism – story where magical or unreal elements play a natural part in an otherwise realistic environment
- Mystery – story having to do with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets
- Mythology – legend or traditional narrative that reveals human behavior and natural phenomena by its symbolism; may involve “the gods” (of various cultures)
- Drama – Ordinary people dealing realistically with challenges, as well as they can
- Science fiction – story based on the impact of actual, imagined, or potential science. May be set in the past or future or on other planets
- Suspense/thriller – stories about damage about to befall a person or group or people who are trying to evade the damage. (Running from a killer… trying to escape the city before invading force arrives… trying to stop a letter from being delivered that was sent by mistake.)
- Western – stories set in the American Old West in the late eighteenth to late nineteenth century
- Bromance – a story about a close relationship between two guys – the relationship is not about sex
- Womance – a story about a close relationship between two women – the relationship is not about sex
FIRST, HERE ARE SOME NOTES RELATED TO QUESTIONS IN CLASS:
- FORMATTING A MONTAGE – CLICK HERE
- FORMATTING A PHONE CONVERSATION – CLICK HERE
- FORMATTING LARGE GROUPS SPEAKING – CLICK HERE
- FORMATTING MULTIPLE CHARACTERS SPEAKING – CLICK HERE
- FORMATTING AN INTERCUT: SEE BELOW
- FORMATTING A FLASHBACK – SEE BELOW: