Genre Screenwriting: How to Write Popular Screenplays That Sell

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It's simple: films need to have commercial value for the studios to produce them, distributors to sell them, and theater chains to screen them. While talent definitely plays a part in the writing process, it can be the well-executed formulaic approaches to the popular genres that will first get you noticed in the industry.
Genre Screenwriting: How to Write Popular Screenplays That Sell does not attempt to probe in the deepest psyche of screenwriters and directors of famous or seminal films, nor does it attempt to analyze the deep theoretic machinations of films. Duncan's simple goal is to give the reader, the screenwriter, a practical guide to writing each popular film genre. Employing methods as diverse as using fairy tales to illustrate the ‘how to' process for each popular genre, and discussing these popular genres in modern television and its relation to its big screen counterpart, Duncan provides a one-stop shop for novices and professionals alike.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (October 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826429939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826429933
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.3 pounds

Customer Reviews


 on June 18, 2015
By Bob Justman
Very well-written, concise how-to for writing in every genre. I refer to it regularly, and it’s one of my favorite texts. It’s well-organized and uses current examples.

It’s a good pick up.

 on December 2, 2013
By Robert Hadley
This book is meant to be basic. It’s going through the basics of a genre. If you are expecting to learn structure you need to look for Syd Field “Screenplay.” This for the writer who is looking to advance, not starting from scratch.

Five Stars

 on July 28, 2016
By Teresa Bachanas
Good book, but there are better.

OK, but there are better

One person found this helpful.
 on April 29, 2012
By eagle747
This is an OK book and a good supplement if you are getting into screnwriter. The more you understand the process the easier it will be on you. As that goes I do recommend reading books like this. With that said I highly suggest this much better book as a necessary piece for anyone learning to write screenplays:

Must-Have, Not Stand-Alone

 on October 20, 2016
By M Barrett
Great book! I like to cross reference it with Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat!” and “Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies.” I use these two for basic structure as a foundation. “Genre Screenwriting” builds on Snyder’s fundamentals.

Has a Clear Understanding

5 people found this helpful.
 on May 17, 2009
From cover to cover, this book is exceptionally detailed and gives you a clear understanding of writing a marketable script. If you’re a writer who is interested in writing artsy films, then this may not be the material for you. However, if you are a serious writer who is willing to commit to the craft, look no further. Keep in mind, you must be willing to set your opinions aside and write a piece with the goal in mind TO SELL….that’s what this book is all about.

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