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Unfamiliar Genre Project: The Screenplay

Now that you’ve been introduced to the idea of the Unfamiliar Genre Project (in my last post), you may be wondering what genre I decided on. Wait no more—I intend on writing a screenplay. Obviously, some aspects of the genre will be familiar to me: I have experience watching T.V. and movies, after all. But that is about as far as my experience with screenwriting goes. I have read bits and pieces of a few screenplays (the original draft of Star Wars, for example) but otherwise, it is unfamiliar.

I know that it will resemble a script for a play, as the word “script” is often interchangeable with “screenplay.” I enjoyed acting when I was young, and though I am disappointed by the fact that I didn’t pursue it past the third grade, I did get experience with plays: directing, acting, stage direction and the like. Plus, I’m an English Major. Reading plays is a requirement (Shakespeare mostly…shocked?). A screenplay ought to have similar characteristics: prompts describing the action, cues for characters actions, and lines of dialogue that carry the plot. Perhaps the biggest difference between a screenplay and the script for a staged play will be the necessary inclusion of camera cues.

While trying to decide on a genre for the UGP, I googled “unusual genres.” Because of poor googling-skills, I didn’t find what I was looking for but I did find a whole lot of bizarre narrative genres. Unfortunately nothing really seemed exciting. In my despair (okay, mild discomfort?) in not finding a genre I decided I would watch a movie instead of doing homework. (Let me say: I’m really a good student… most of the time). “That’s it!” I thought, “I’ll write a screenplay!” It would be something totally new… and exciting.

I guess my biggest hope for this project will be to gain experience in story telling. That’s what makes a great movie after all, right? I mean acting, camera work, set-design and such all go into it, but if it isn’t a good story, what’s the point? I am fascinated by the art of storytelling, and the power of stories to transform the way we see and interact with the world, which makes me thrilled for this project. That said, it will definitely be something I “wobble” in. Dialogue is a prominent part of screenwriting, and I am definitely uncomfortable writing dialogue. I feel like I have a tendency to make it sound too straight laced and pretentious. I’m less worried about the camera directions and “stage-cues” because action and setting are things I feel more comfortable with. Also, there seems to be freedom with these cues in a screenplay because of the director’s input during filming.

Anyway, I hope you guys have fun joining me in this adventure… it should be a good time.

Featured Image found here.

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About the Author

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I am Charlie Eich. I am a student, friend, and occasionally, a writer. Native to the great state of Colorado. This site is where you will find any and all words of mine. Whether they be a short story, poem, or simply thoughts, these are the things I found worthy of the world wide web. Enjoy.

6 Comments

  1. Hey! Briana’s going for this genre too! I noticed something similar between your and Briana’s posts. You both said that your experience with screenplays is watching movies. I’m going to try and write a song, but I wouldn’t consider listening to music as experience writing music. The process of absorbing/seeing/hearing versus the process of writing seem radically different to me with music. I wonder if all writing is like that… Or maybe I’m just really freaked out by composing. WHO KNOWS

  2. Briana C Jara

    Hey! Tracy’s right! I am doing this genre as well! And honestly, I am a little bit intimidated, so I am glad we will be embarking on this adventure together. Something that you brought up that I didn’t mention in my posts were the camera cues. I didn’t even think of this and it brings a whole new layer to the challenge of writing a screenplay for me. However, I feel particularly comfortable writing dialogue, so maybe we can balance each other out. Also, this is a side note, but I thoroughly enjoy the way that you write.

  3. Let me start off by saying how much I appreciate your “studious” skills in the classes that we share. Next thought, I read this specific blog whilst also watching finishing my weekend-long binge on Lord Of The Rings ( I promise I gave it the attention it deserved). In the context of story-telling, what was Tolkien smoking? LOTR is alllllllll over the place, but a classic none the less. I am excited to see your Bilbos, Gandalfs, and clever use of Orks in your own writing. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks Briana! I really appreciate that! It’s going to be fun and super challenging for sure. I’m excited to be able to piggy-back off of each other and take advantage of the opportunity to support one another in our weak spots!

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