To Drama or Not to Drama

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 7th, 20132013-03-07T16:11:28Zl, F jS, Y at 8:11 am2013-03-07T16:11:28Zg:i a

Be aware of some of the pitfalls of writing in the drama genre. It is not a genre that sells well on the marketplace and it can also be a trap for newer writers, one in which they work out personal issues that may not be particularly entertaining for anyone else.

I like dramas very much, personally, but Hollywood tends to see them mainly written by heavy hitters and released in the winter. I know the first two scripts I wrote were both dramas before I discovered and set upon writing romcom which I did for several scripts before I discovered that my strength is in writing thrillers. It took me awhile to find my voice, my strength and my passion in terms of genre. In other words, don’t write drama because you just can’t think of what else to write. Make sure it is really the genre for you and that you understand its weaknesses.

Avoid being too self-referential: Is your drama about that time your boyfriend broke your heart? Is this a mildly biographical drama, in other words?

Make sure you have the emotional distance and skillset to make the story universally resonant, not just a therapeutic way of working out your demons. Which can be fine – we’re all working out our demons – but don’t lose sight of audience appreciation. Is this story something MANY people can relate to? Or is this something that only YOU find satisfying? If so – how can you elevate the drama, conflict and theme to something more – well, again – universal?

It could be that your drama might really sing on the page if it is a comedy, horror/thriller or western. Make sure you check in with yourself and ask whether your script is a drama that will move audiences or whether it is something that is therapeutic only for you. Remember – you must be effing entertaining!

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