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World Book Day

Activity 2: Swap the genre

‘Genre’ is central to understanding both books and films. The most popular film genres are comedy, action and adventure.

Other film genres include:

  • thriller
  • drama
  • crime
  • horror
  • romantic comedy
  • documentary
  • science fiction
  • western
  • musical
  • fantasy

For discussion:

  • What is your favourite genre of book and film? Is it the same genre or do you prefer for example crime novels and comedy films? Or romantic novels and fantasy films? Explain why you particularly like certain genres.
  • Choose a character from one of your favourite novels – it might be a book that has already been adapted into a film but it doesn’t have to be. What genre of book does this character appear in? Talk to your partner or your group about this character and explain how you have identified the genre of the book. What conventions help create this specific genre? Now imagine your favourite character is transported into a narrative that is of a different genre. For example, Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights is a character in a Victorian Gothic novel. How might he fair in an action adventure tale? Or a science fiction extravaganza?
  • Decide which genre you want your favourite character to appear in and make a list of the sort of things you would expect to happen in that genre of story. Then discuss and make notes about how your character would react and develop in that context. If you have time, make a mock-up film poster portraying your character in their new genre. Share your ideas with others – you’ll probably find there are some amusing transformations.