Amrish Shah’s:
Ten Most Successful Genre’s for a Super Storeee !!!
www.superstoreee.com

A writer can attempt any Genre that he or she pleases but the ten most successful Genre’s of novel and screenwriting are:
Action, Comedy, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Horror, Science Fiction and Thriller.

These are the Genre’s that the readers and the cinema loving audience would like to experience through Storeee time and again. These Genre’s are time tested which have a proven track record in the past, present and will continue to reign in the future. However having said that, creative writing is an evolving process, thus there will be modernism and cocktail Genre’s which will define the sign of times. Also with the growing prowess of new age media and digital breakthroughs, a judicious mix and match of Style versus content can create new extended Genre’s. Likewise Writers today innovate by combining more than one Genre. Infact in Cinema which now is more than 100 years old, an eclectic mix of Genre’s ushers in a variety for the audience. It’s like taking a date out to a four-course meal instead of just ordering Pepperoni Pizza. A smart writer blends a couple of Genre’s and weaves a compelling and yet entertaining storeee. A good thriller can get more interesting with a dash of science fiction and crime. An action storeee with a pound of comedy and a slice of romance makes for a prefect combo. A Fantasy storeee stirred with Action/Drama and spiked with Love is to die for. A romantic storeee packed with comedy or some thriller elements is a sureshot recipe for success.

Hollywood the most successful Film making Business model has flourished only because it doesn’t market movies or novels, it markets Genres. Similarly the world over Genre is prime in marketing and distribution of Movies, Books, TV and now the web content to the desired target audience. Genre not only brings in the audience, it also promises a certain amount of credibility to the Storeee. It prepares the audience for the Storeee experience. Genre help identify potential audience where in instead of selling them a Storeee you create an urge for them to buy it at their own will.

Today Television and the Web Fiction Content all have taken a cue from Genre writing. TV Series are defined and distributed with the Genre tag. Infact TV channels have become Genre specific themselves. We have comedy channels, action, thriller, family drama channels. Genre helps the discerning viewer to choose wisely. With the growing advent of new media the audience is always short on time and obviously the attention span. Genre is what attracts the busiest of audience and flags of ticket collections at the box office, it increases DVD sales, facilitates ‘best seller’ book deals and soars TV and internet viewership.

As a matter of fact professional writers create their own patent concoction of Genre’s within the mentioned ten popular Genre’s This enables them to spin yarns consistently and consecutively. All the prosperous fiction writers have been largely ‘Genre Kings’. Professional writers attempt a crafty blend of Genre’s in their stories but not before attaining mastery over a couple of Genre’s atleast. It would be foolish to try and master all the Genre’s, remember the phrase jack of all trades and master of none. Therefore a successful story artist thoroughly educates himself on a few handful of Genre’s and then plays his game within that gamut. To maintain reliability in dishing out promising stories back to back the writer has to have in-depth knowledge about his set of Genre’s. This ultimately leads to a flair for a particular style of writing. It is the craft and constancy of Genre that gives a great writer his signature writing style. A novice can attempt all the Genre’s for the sake of learning or putting dinner on the table but as soon he gets his round of success he will have to stick to a selected few Genre’s. Like they say after a few hundred hours of writing you don’t pick the Genre…The Genre picks you. This is the wisdom that only evolved writers understand and practice. It is the periphery of Genre that make ordinary writers into writers par excellence.

A brief on the ten most Successful Genre’s.

1.Action:
One of the most popular Genre in the west. This Genre works very well for Movies with the given advantage of visual display of fast paced motion and graphic action. Action can easily engage the audience and give them a sense of vision that is larger than life. This helps break the mundane monotony of life in real. Action also resonates with the adrenalin rush that we humans thrive for. We all want to drive fast cars, beat up people, shoot a machine gun and jump off buildings. We want to run, kick, and fly. Action symbolizes are hidden desires and makes us feel powerful and energetic. Action stories therefore bring out the action hero in the audience.

2.Comedy
Comedy rules come summer, autumn, winter, spring. Especially in times of economic depression, times of social struggle, political instability, environmental hazards, war periods, any other kind of periods, it is comedy that ushers the fresh breath of a ‘feel good factor’. Comedy also makes problems seem inconsequential. The Hero of the film or storeee gets beaten black and blue but we are still left laughing. Comic treatment makes tragedy look like a farce. Comedy addresses all troublesome issues in a lighter vein. A good comedy can not only liven moods but also make life more affable. Comedy has many offshoots in modern times like ‘black comedy’, ‘socio-political satire’, ‘slapstick’, ‘romantic comedy’ (romcom) etc. However an important fact about comedy is that Comedy is serious business and the most difficult Genre to write. If a writer can write a grand comedy he will never be out of demand even if he is moving in wheel chair with two arm candies of his granddaughter’s age.

3.Crime
Crime is ever exciting cause we all have a penchant for sensationalism. Crime in Storeee is highly engaging. Crime highlights the bad in the society, which has been prevalent before even the birth of Christ. Remember Jesus was poisoned by his own friend. Crime is usually inspired by true events that occur as a routine in a given society. Hence the daily news in whichever format becomes a meaty source for a Crime Storeee. A Crime Storeee mixed with action and thriller can make for a compelling novel or a fabulous film. Crime does pay and how… do a google search on hundreds of Crime fiction Stories/Movies/TV series/Books that has raked revenue in millions. Infact so much so that the wealthy writers of crime fiction are themselves being victimized by their own friends, spouses and neighbours.

4.Detective
We all have curiosity creeping inside us. Hence the phrase curiosity killed the cat. A detective storeee plays with the audience/readers curious minds. The central character of a detective mostly is the detective himself. Or else the Hero of the storeee takes help of a supporting character to solve a mystery who is a professional detective. Detective fiction can be written primarily in two ways, one where a crime is committed in front of the audience, the criminal is known to the audience but not the detective who is in pursuit through the length of the Storeee. The other style of detective fiction is when the crime is committed behind a veil where both the audience and the detective are in the dark and they together embark on an electrifying journey of investigation. The Storeee becomes growingly enthralling as it unfolds scene after scene. The audience begins to fall in love with the detective while he often falls in love with his clients or suspects. Sherlock Holmes is so far the best and consistent detective fiction in the popular Genre of detective Storeee.

5. Family Drama
Family Drama is one of the most popular Genre’s for television viewership throughout the world. Family dramas are never ending sagas served to the audience with twists and turns galore. Drama is inherent in human nature thus dramas work very well where engaging the audience is concerned. Dramas can absorb the audience with ordinary everyday events. Dramas are high on emotions and help give a vent to the audience’s pent up emotions. Family dramas are comparatively easy to write though difficult to sustain. The challenge being to break the monotony every now and then with fresh twists and turns. Thus when a plethora of relationships, or a lace of crime or some elements of romance, or even comedy for that matter is added, Dramas enjoy a long shelf life. ‘Dramedy’ is now a new form of comedy meets drama. Drama works superbly with Movies and Books globally. Since Drama forms a core essence of storytelling, it encircles a very important Genre. Thus Drama is often added as a sub Genre to any other Prime Genre to make the Storeee as dramatic as mankind can get since the advent of Dinosaurs.

6.Fantasy
There is a Superman or a Spiderman or an Aladdin in all of us. Deep down we have an inherent desire to be superhuman. We all have a propensity towards the surreal…the fantastical…the super-heroic… Fantasy breaks the monotony of real life and transports the audience to a world that is as dreamlike as it can get. Infact great Fantasy stories challenge the audience’s imagination power and surpass all expectations. From Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings to Avataar to Aladdin, the popular list of best selling novels and high grossing Movies has been sprouting form the Genre of Fantasy. Right from Childhood people of all ethnicities have a penchant for Fantasy. Stories that spell Fantasy lure the addressees into a make belief world. Having said that the emotional connect with that mind-boggling world is still very strong. The situations and the characters are very humanlike inspite of all their getups. The secret to writing good Fantasy stories is…to create an out of world experience albeit with characters that have humanlike traits in terms of emotions and relationships. To addd further to that the plot in realm of fancy, usually professes love, humanity, parenthood, friendship, environmental safety and community welfare. The trick to Fantasy is also to create a very bizarre world where the audience can experience a magical sensation almost like they are being taken into a ride of virtual reality. Fantasy also needs to be laced with adventure making the travel into mysterious lands an affair to remember for eternity. The more wacky the world, the more adventurous the voyage…the more euphoric will be the encounter for the audience, be it a novel, a comic book or a TV series or a blockbuster movie. Tickle the viewer’s mood for Fantasy and you have found the flawless treasure.

7.Romance
Romance as a Genre, needs no explanation. Romance is the lifeblood of novels and cinema. Even the greatest epics have the theme of romance as a strong backdrop. From Ramayana to Titanic to Gone with the Wind to even Great Expectations… Romance is a Genre to reckon with. The best part is that Romance cuts through all genders, agegroups, nationalities, ethnicities and other demographics. It’s the singlemost popular Genre amongst the plethora of Genre’s. Romance also is a very versatile Genre. It fits in like a glove with any other Genre and sometimes overtakes the Prime Genre to make it look like a sub Genre. That’s the power of Love in a story. Thus the trade secret is: whenever in doubt, throw in some romance. However since Romance has been rampant in storytelling since the cavemen days, romance needs to be dished out with novelty. Romance also can do well when it has a contemporary touch. A dash of current affairs and Romance can taste like old wine in new bottle. Even the most heroic stories turn out be super heroic when they have a strong track of romance as an accompaniment. Romance works wonders cause it highlights the most basic and yet the most necessary need of human beings and that is Love. Without Love probably there would be no stories. Maybe I overshot, but who cares I am in Love with Love.

8. Horror
The cinema audience love to get scared so much so that they are ready to buy a ticket or pay on demand to watch a Horror film… A film that will not only play on their fears but also give them sleepless nights. The impact of Horror fiction can be long lasting, more than what the audience realizes. Horror also instills the thought of supernatural in the psyche. Horror works with credibility if it has some supernatural elements attached. The fact that the world is full of the unknown gives creative writers to bake their own concoctions in the segment of Horror fiction. The fear of the unknown and the unseen is the key emotion that is milked in this terrifying Genre. Since the whole gamut of the unfamiliar is so vast, the writer’s imagination can run wild to horrify the audience and suck them out of all their energies. However horror with a dash of drama or comedy or even romance for that matter can make the story more humane. Vampires, Zombies, Ghosts, Ghouls, Witches, Black Magic, Aliens, Wandering Souls, Evil spirits, etc make for great Horror entertainment. Horror is backed by culture where every ethnic race will have some mention of Ghosts, Witches, Vampires, Mummies, in their folklore. Right from childhood the audience is tempted to venture into the twilight zone…the unexplained. Horror when blended with adventure and suspense can make for super tales of the cryptic, hair-raising encounters into the nether worlds. Horror when treated with the intellect can leave the audience gasping for more. It can create a lasting impression, which can also turn into a cascading franchise of Horror Fiction. You can scare people and make them pay double by creating sequels to your horrifying Stories.

9.Science Fiction
Flying Saucers, Fighting Robots, Airborne men, Parallel universe, Superhumans out of science labs, Doctored Mutants, Engineered Transformers, Terminators from the future, Time Travel, Invisible Humans, Supersonic aircrafts, Space Travel, Star wars, Inter Galaxy adventures, Catching Criminals of the future, Bio Chemical warfare, Fringe Science Experiments, Exploring quantum physics, Genetic manipulations etc are all amazing territories where Science Fiction thrives. In the contemporary world Science fiction has never failed to deliver surprises. Science fiction promises incredible fiction but presented in a more believable fashion. Science fiction is painstakingly researched, and usually showcases events, which are very much a possibility of the future. Science fiction therefore can be termed as prophecies for the future. Highly intelligent writers like Arthur C. Clarke, H. G. Wells etc have written science fiction which was an impossibility then, but now an absolute reality. It was their imagination power ahead of its time that enabled them to write about events and instruments of far-fetched future. It’s amazing how so many of their fictional inventions mentioned in their books are all being used as day to day objects in the present age. These include supersonic airplanes, helicopters, flying cars, invisible vehicles, super computers, mobile phones, space travel, satellites, rockets, submarines, laser technology, telescopes etc. Science fiction has infinite scope to churn out tales that will keep the readers and the audience awestruck. Science fiction enables the audience to sample a scientific marvel, which they might never experience in their course of lives but perhaps their grandchildren will benefit from its practical use. Science fiction takes the audience into the future of life and then gives them an entertaining glimpse into the world of tomorrow. Science fiction requires top class intelligence to create, communicate and make it as credible as possible.
The astounding part being that a lot of Science fiction writers have inspired modern scientists and inventors. Good science fiction not only stimulates the creative minds but also motivates them towards the possible options. Today’s science fiction will be tomorrow’s reality.

10.Thriller
The door opens with a crackling sound against the whispering moonlight. The wind makes the curtains dance over a framed photograph of a young girl in her lawyer’s coat on graduation day. The same young girl now in her late twenties is taking a steaming shower after a day’s ordeal. But the expression in her eyes gives away a lot more. The rain outside the window is hinting at a crime that it has witnessed around the same time. She comes out of the shower and shuts the squeaky windows. She paces to her red wardrobe and dresses up in a dark evening gown. She touches up her poker face inside the mirrored powder room. She puts on her raincoat, picks up her car keys and walks out of the door faking confidence. Just then she remembers something. She reaches the kitchen and pulls out a huge plastic bag. An empty bottle of wine tells another story. Through the shaft of passage light, she enters her private parking garage and clicks on the remote control lock. In the flicker of light a man is seen resting on the seat next to the driver’s seat. She calmly gets into the driver’s seat and starts the ignition completely ignoring the bald man in his fifties resting against the leather seats with his eyes shut. The wipers are switched on followed by the headlights that remind you of leopard eyes. As soon as the SUV turns to hit the road the silent man falls to his right and it is revealed that he is dead. The lady in the driver seat switches on the radio. An announcement is made about a missing Judge who was hijacked from his car that evening in the same town. A passing street light now throws light on a black robe and the tie that is part of the court dress worn by the man who is lying dead with no breath left. The lady driver serenely shuffles the radio channel as if she was on her honeymoon. ‘Killing me softly’ comes live on the radio and creates a very eerie sensation inside the hood of the car with a dead judge waiting to be covertly cremated.
Thriller is a Genre that can grab the attention at the snap of a finger. Thriller is a very powerful medium to connect to the audience instantaneously and if its written and executed precisely, the reader or the audience will not dare to bat an eyelid till they read the words ‘The End’. Thriller is a Master Genre to garner great amount of curiosity and sustain high interest levels. In the growing age of technology, gadgetry and social media it is very difficult to retain the audiences attention span. Thriller presented with the right treatment can help overcome this deterrent. A taught thriller can keep the audience glued on to the book or the screen and at times making them oblivious of their own surroundings. Thriller has a strong hook that carries the story on its shoulders. Themes like revenge, murder, obsession, fear, greed, illicit affairs, covert missions, Secret service operations, rogue spies, deadly heists, corporate espionage, play of power, mafia games, criminal negligence, psychological manipulations, accidents due to culpable homicide, serial killers, false implications, identity theft, etc make good content for Thrillers. Thrillers need to be crafted meticulously to pull off the story like a well-planned heist. Logic loopholes, implausible plotlines, cosmetic characters can make a thriller look like a caricature. Likewise the writer is dealing with specialized information on the subject of his Thriller, so extensive research and rethinking is a must. A smartly woven tale in the Genre of a thriller can result into the story achieving a cult status. Thriller itself has a huge array of plots and themes to chose from. Thrillers are forever and will get out of fashion when mankind loses their materialistic desires, till then Thriller writers needn’t worry…They can make a killing from Pulp Fiction.

This article is part of the ‘Super Storeee’ syllabus, which is copyrighted.

Amrish Shah’s novel Tiger Mates now available @ tigermates.com, amazon.in, flipkart.in