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The Screenwriters Taxonomy by Eric Williams

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3Macrogenres and Microgenres

People are so used to using the word “genre” that I don’t want to stray too far from it. Instead, let’s try to refine its use by recognizing that there are three layers of genre. There are eleven supergenres: Action, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Life, Romance, Science Fiction, Sports, Thriller, War and Western. As explained in the previous chapter, supergenres define story, character and atmosphere in a broad sense. The other two layers of genre (macro and micro) provide specificity to each supergenre and help the screenwriter to better define the audience’s expectations.

Macrogenres

On the surface, “macrogenres” may appear to be similar to supergenres. Consider: “Time Travel” or “Mystery.” They seem like they could be ...

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