The Black List is a great place to measure yourself against other writers.
How can you stand out from the pack? Well, first you need to know what the pack is writing.
Recently, a reader from The Black List shared an image on Imgur that detailed all of the 1000+ scripts they read.
They delved deep into page count, genre, and character to really detail the kinds of work they've been submitted.
Let's take a deeper dive into their findings.
First things first, let's talk page count. There's always a question from beginning writers that I love: "How many scenes are in a screenplay?" I always say, "Enough to tell the story." But it's interesting to look at trends of the scripts people are submitting.
It's no surprise that people's scripts are bunched between 100 and 120, but I was surprised to see them trending closer to 115. I do think many beginning writers leave a lot on the page, and it's not all great.
I usually try to shave what I have down to 110, but that's just me. Every story has different needs, but I'd venture to guess many of these stories need editing.
I am a sucker for genre. Reading about what's most popular I thought it was really interesting that drama and action thrillers were at the very top. Obviously, there were broken down into more specific genres.
Crime spreads over both titles, which makes sense because of how diverse the implications are.
And horror also makes sense because of how popular those stories are in theaters.
Characters, Settings, and More
I love the breakdown of these detailed pieces. The time period is incredibly interesting to me. It really shows the range of diversity of imagination. The trend of "based on a true story" is obviously very real.
We covered biopics in another article, but they're a good way into a story.
The depressing number is the skew between male and female heroes. I think that probably has to do with the gender of the author, but we don't really know. I am surprised we don't see more two-handers on the list.
All in all, these were really informative numbers. It's easy to geek out on trends, but at the end of the day, the people who get ahead are the ones who write a great story. So buckle down, create a plan, and write the best story you can.
And if you want to procrastinate a little, dig deeper into the trends we saw earlier.
There are more infographics to explore.
What's next? Get our free screenwriting eBook!
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