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What Can Screenwriters Learn From Crime Fiction?

    Over at Scriptmag, I’ve had a column on screenwriting for several years. To shake things up, I’ve decided to put crime fiction under the spotlight and discover what screenwriters can learn from this genre. Enjoy!

    Remember, if you want to read the whole article, CLICK HERE or on any of the pics!

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    1) Crime fiction has a strong sense of AUDIENCE

    If a writer does not know who their audience is, the chances of their story hitting the ‘bullseye’ on this is very limited (and if it does, it’s pure luck – accident, rather than design). Many screenwriters will say their spec screenplays are ‘for everyone’ but crime fiction demonstrates that even within the same broad definition, there are LOTS of potential audiences you can reach. More on this, next.

    SUBMISSION TIP: Think about who your screenplay’s audience is and how you can make this story appeal to them. It can only help you, especially as agents and producers will ask this question.

    2) They pick one style/ tone and STICK WITH IT

    So, Crime Fiction is a very broad umbrella. Stories have to ‘focus in’ on a particular investigation or problem to solve during the course of the narrative. They may do this in any number of ways, including via a steamy dangerous liaison (like the titles in the pic above) or they may include graphic violence (titles in the pic below). Obviously sex and violence CAN mix, but generally speaking if you sign up for a hot love affair, you don’t want torture porn in with it as well – it jars. In comparison, many spec screenplays do not stick to one style or tone as much and as a result, the story and characters’ journeys can be hard to follow.

    SUBMISSION TIP: Before you send your screenplay out, run a critical eye over your scenes. Do they all ‘match’ in terms of style/tone, or do any ‘jar’ and/or feel completely out of the left field?

    Want to read the rest of the article? CLICK HERE or on the pics …


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