Self-Imposed Limits – That Help

Genres are, by definition, malleable and loosely held together, since the very things that define them, the rules and conventions, are constantly changing. In fiction film, genres can usually be identified by simply analyzing the writing conventions. Typically a screenwriter will begin a story with a certain genre in mind, and make his or herself familiar with these genre conventions before starting. This is essentially a set of self-imposed limits that a filmmaker or writer will place on his or herself. This allows the work to have a harmony as it relates to the tradition, while at the same time, come off as fresh and new. In other words, screenwriters have learned that they are not writing in a vacuum. The stories we tell have a relationship to the stories we told in the past, and the stories we will tell in the future. Recognizing this will only help the filmmaker become more adept at connecting in the desired way with audiences.