Screenwriting: Genre, Setting, Concept

In this post I share with you three other elements that are included in the proposal of a screenplay.

Genre:

In Save The Cat (see my previous post) Blake Snyder mentions ten types of genres. He cautions about staying away from “standard genre types such as Romantic Comedy, Epic or Biography- because those names don’t really tell me anything about what the story is.”

As a standard genre my story is romantic drama, but in following Snyder’s advice my genre falls under the Rites of Passage type. “These are tales of pain and torment , but usually from an outside force; Life.” Movies that Snyder classifies under this type include stories about puberty, mid-life crisis, old age, romantic break-up, and grieving stories.

Settings:

Although my series takes place in part in India, Italy and Boston I have omitted these scenes from the screenplay. I do mention the character going to India but I only speak of her impressions upon her return. Similarly, I do not have the character go to Boston or Italy. The reason for doing this is that film producers are money minded. Having the crew travel to film a scene ups the costs which might make a producer reject the screenplay.

So my settings are: A women’s center in a middle-class area of a city. Bars and pubs, restaurants. The characters’ apartments. Conference hall. Art Gallery. Inside taxi cab. Backyard garden. Museum. Gym. Office. Golf Course. Library. Construction site of a donut shop. Inside a car.

These are easily filmed on set or at least in the city where the film is being made.

Concept:

This is the synopsis of the story. One thing I was told to keep in mind, is that the agents/producers/directors are busy people and don’t have time to read through pages of what your film or series is about. What they will be more interested in is the script itself which I will talk about in another post.

The concept is the heart of the proposal and includes:

An introduction to the idea of your story along with main emotions and theme. Here you can include one sentence story examples.

A paragraph which outlines the story in each episode – its beginning and ending.

Visual Elements that are in the story. Is it entertainment, an interview, narration, animation. Is there a host?

Finally, clarity and brevity is key.

Please note that I will not be as active on Social Media for the next while as my family is preparing a funeral for my brother-in-law and in the weeks that follow I will be involved in helping care of my sister, who is eighty, and will need support as she begins her grieving process.

Based on my Getting To Mr. Right Series

Please visit my author page on Amazon

19 thoughts on “Screenwriting: Genre, Setting, Concept

  1. Looking forward to reading more about your journey! I like the brevity-is-key, and I know how difficult it is to be brief vs verbose a la Tawin’s “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one”…

    May your journey supporting your sister be as pain-free as possible. I can only imagine her grieving journey will be easier shared with you 🤗

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  2. Thanks for sharing these intricate steps for preparing a script proposal, Carol. I am sorry for the loss of your brother-in-law. I know well of your sister’s journey through grief. She is lucky to have you. I’ve been doing this grief gig, practically solo. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t imagine anyone doing this grief process solo. My sister was lucky to have her daughter and her two daughters-in-law to prepare the funeral and all it entails. Now that the funeral is over (yesterday) this is where I come in as support along with other members of the family.
      I have a lot of admiration for you and your courage. Going through the grieving process, let alone all the practical implications involved in the numerous paper work, moving and dealing with your husband’s personal items (not to mention the loneliness) well… it is huge to carry alone. My heart is with you as you go through this passage of life, ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This was very interesting. I particularly noted about not having a long synopsis, which is understandable, and about genre. Rites of passage–I like that! It does tell so much more.

    Liked by 1 person

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