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Alternative Scriptwriting, 4th Edition by Jeff Rush, Ken Dancyger

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Working Against Genre

Because genre provides a writer with a shorthand that audiences readily understand, less time is needed to establish its characteristics. Just as character stereotypes are useful to the writer, so, too, are genres. However, stereotypes don’t sustain our interest, nor do they fascinate us enough to carry us, via curiosity or tension, through the balance of the story. In order to sustain an audience’s attention, the writer must give us the unexpected and must challenge our expectations.

As mentioned earlier, genres are often influenced by current events. These historical, political, and social changes suggest new perspectives. ...

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