While listening to a recent episode of the Scriptnotes Podcast, a topic came up that, kind of hits close to home. Discussing a viewer write-in question/rebuttal about a previous episode of the podcast where John and Craig express their disagreement with an article that talks about professional and amateur screenwriters having differing writing styles and that their script fundamentally look different. John says that all of their stuff essentially looks the same, and that’s where the viewer rebuttal comes in. The viewer says that he’s noticed a rise in different writing styles in the past two decades; more specifically a rise in the “edgier” styles by aspiring writers that are usually done in an attempt to get noticed. Craig denounces them as such; gimmicks. Stating that gimmicks are, well gimmicks. They don’t actually mean anything if the content “driving” the script is crap. This is the part that hits home with me. If I’m honest, when I have a story idea, I’m always trying to think of a way to make it unique or different; a way to make it standout. While some of these are plot elements that actually put a good spin on things, there’s also plenty of times where it is a gimmick and just for the sake of being different. Moving forward from this realization I’m going to have to pay careful attention to make sure that I do what I can to stand out (especially as a novice writer), while also putting the story first.