Q: Tom asked: “Is it true I need to have several scripts, each in a different genre?”
A: You should have more than one or two completed, ready-to-go scripts on your shelf. After all, if you’re a screenwriter, you need to have product. But no, you don’t necessarily need to have one script from each genre (i.e., horror, thriller, comedy, sci-fi, action-adventure, etc.). I’d never suggest you write a sci-fi script if that’s not your thing. After all, you can’t do the genre justice if you’re not a fan or don’t quite “get it.” Personally, I’d never write a big fantasy adventure like “Harry Potter” or “Lord of the Rings”; I’m just not interested in that sort of thing. I like my stories a bit more down to earth, so I tend to focus primarily on psychological thrillers, horror, and comedy. Keep in mind, a certain amount of prolificacy is definitely required in this business, so being known for just one specific genre can be a detriment to those wanting to get a career off the ground. For instance, let’s say your focus is on the horror genre. Producers who have read your three gory horror scripts might not even consider you for a spy thriller or teen comedy. I guess what it all boils down to is this: have an interest in as many genres as possible, because if you write what you’re interested in, you’ll be a much happier, much more productive writer.
Visit me at http://www.theworkingscreenwriter.com/ -- a site for the pre-pro screenwriter!