The presenter of the Screenwriting Tricks for Authors Workshop, Alexandra Sokoloff, sent attendees an email last week asking us to prepare some homework prior to the workshop.
The questions were as follows:
1. What genre are you writing in? Giving this is a romance convention, what subgenre are you writing in?
2. Make a list of ten movies and books – at least five movies – that you feel are similar i genre and structure to your work in progress or story idea. (Or if you don’t have a story idea yet, ten movies and books you WISH you had written!)
3. Write out the premise of your story in one sentence. It might take several attempts to work on it and polish to something you are happy with.
It took me a while, and I had more than 10 books on my list (I cheated!) – and some examples were series. Movies was a bit easier. I found that my book examples tended towards fantasy while my movie examples tended towards the noir/ crime genre.
It was a good exercise though, I suggest other people give it a go for their own work. Summing up your story in one sentence – an interesting one! is pretty challenging.