It's Time to Switch Genres (6 Books to Help You)

Updated: May 31


There's no question that writing in a new genre can feel like you are starting from scratch. It can be incredibly overwhelming and super frustrating. Especially if you're like me and have been developing your skill at this craft for a while now. But that is exactly why we must do it. In order to become the best screenwriter we can be, it is imperative to work outside of our comfort zone or risk the downward spiral of complacency. If you write horror then try comedy. Do you write drama? Then write a sci-fi script. The worse that can happen is that you learn the tropes and cliché's of that genre and how to avoid them or twist them into something original and special. But you will also learn some key elements which are unique to that genre which you can then put in your toolbox for later. Eventually, you will find your skills growing in ways that you never expected! All because you were brave enough to try something new. Trust me this works! Below are some books which I believe can help you get started and try out a new genre.

-Geoffrey D. Calhoun


1. Learn Genre Film Secrets

Writers will learn what Genre is and how each of the 11 genres work then how film intensifies and satisfies aficionado expectations. The writer will learn to weave elements from one genre into the fundamental story of another genre, creating more powerful characters and plots that appeal to a broader movie-going audience.

Amazon 4.8 ⭐'s

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2. The Comic Hero's Journey

A comic hero or heroine also goes on a journey, but for the comic hero, it’s often quite, quite different. The hero decides to go on the adventure; the comic hero often has no choice. The hero has a wise old man; the comic hero often meets an idiot who inadvertently says something that can teach him a thing or two. Steve Kaplan will show you the diverse paths that comedy takes in The Comic Hero’s Journey.

Amazon 4.8 ⭐'s

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3. Improv for Writers

Improv instructor and writer Jorjeana Marie reveals a new way to generate idea after brilliant idea. Applying the rules of improv to fiction writing, Marie presents fun games and exercises you can do from the comfort of your desk at home.

Amazon 4.7 ⭐'s

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4. The Scream Writer's Handbook

The only Horror Screenwriter's Handbook written by a successful Hollywood screenwriter.

Authored by Hollywood horror screenwriting veteran Thomas Fenton, whose credits include work on the Saw and I Spit On Your Grave horror franchises, The Scream Writer's Handbook offers a 10-step approach to writing a screenplay from idea through completing the first draft.

Amazon 4.5 ⭐'s

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4. The Complete Guide to Screenwriting for Children's Film & Television

This book is a valuable tool for people who want to specialize in scriptwriting for kids. It provides a perfect solution to anyone who wants to succeed in the world of content writing for kids, and gain the necessary knowledge and tools they might need in order to create and write television programs, stage shows, and films aimed at children.

Amazon 4.3 ⭐'s

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5. Writing & Selling Drama Screenplays

Covers all aspects of drama screenwriting and includes such case studies as Erin Brockovich, The King’s Speech, Juno, and many more. This book explores the ways in which drama and authenticity work, it empowers screenwriters to make their own story and character choices, so they can write and also package, finance, and even make their own drama features.

Amazon 4.3 ⭐'s

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6. Writing the Science Fiction Film

Science fiction is by far the most powerful genre available to writers everywhere. It explores the human condition with a depth and complexity other genres cannot match, but it can also have tons of fun doing it! So how do you avoid the tired old tropes of the average sci-fi film and lift your story above the average? Well, this book can help!

Amazon 4 ⭐'s

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