On Wednesday August 7 at 1 PM PDT, I’ll be teaching my fifth webinar for The Writers Store — on one of my favorite topics: Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat “genres.” Blake believed pretty much every great and successful movie falls into one of these ten story types. I agree. I see these “genres” at work in the trailers for produced movies, and the loglines of spec scrips that sold.
I’ll be presenting my personal take on why they matter, how to use them, and common mistakes writers tend to make with them.
This is a very different idea of “genre” from the traditional terms like “romantic comedy” or “thriller.” These ten “genres” focus on the central problem, goal and stakes for the main character — and are remarkably flexible. Each has five “subgenres,” which is how, for instance, Forrest Gump, Legally Blonde and The 40-Year-Old Virgin are all really the same kind of movie. Each centers on a seeming “fool” with positive values, who meets up with a more worldly “establishment,” and after going through some sort of “transmutation,” turns out to be wiser than everyone, and impacts this world in a positive way (i.e. the “Fool Triumphant”).
In my view, understanding and using these genres is the single most important thing most screenwriters could do in developing their concepts and stories, so they have the best chance of being compelling, marketable projects which could move a mass audience. It’s the first thing I focus on when I read a script and have concerns about the central quest of the movie, and whether it’s relatable, engaging and big enough. By asking which of these types of stories it could be, and perhaps should be, one can reshape a story into something far more viable in the marketplace.
Whether you can be there live or not on Wednesday, you can still order the webinar and have the 90-minute powerpoint/audio presentation emailed to you to watch and listen at your leisure. (The main benefit of being there live is the ability to submit questions — but you could e-mail me those later, even if you’re not there.)
It’s $59 if you order by this Sunday, and $79 thereafter. For more info, and everything you need to know to particpate, click the button below.
Hope you can make it!GENRE Webinar – more info
I also recommend my "Ten Key Principles Successful Writers Understand", and my series of audio downloads. And if you'd like me to read something you're working on, check out my consulting page.