The Different Writing Genres

So I mentioned in my last post that there are several types of writing genres (outside of fiction genres,  such as fantasy and the like) and that I’m currently working on deciding what else I want to write besides fiction.

I’m going to detail what the other genres are and what they do, and maybe laying everything out will help me make a decision. And, maybe even you’ll learn something.

So let’s see. There’s fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction, screenwriting, drama/ playwriting, poetry, music/ lyric writing, and comic/ graphic novel writing. I’m sure there are others, but those are the one ones I care about right now so we’ll pretend the rest doesn’t exist.

Fiction is pretty straight forward. Made up shit in a variety of sub-genres, there’s pretty much nothing you can’t do because no one cares about the rules of this genre and they’re broken all the time.

Non-fiction I suppose is factual shit. No bullshitting allowed. This is pretty important to the genre, but otherwise there’s a lot that can be written about. Memoirs, essays, articles, etc on whatever topic, as long as it’s true. Creative non-fiction and non-fiction are really closely aligned, the creative option just isn’t so bland and can take some pretty interesting forms, as I have learned recently.

Screenwriting is writing a script for a movie, short film, TV series, or whatever kind of video you could make. Screenwriting can be either fiction or non-fiction.  I’ve never tried screenwriting before because I wasn’t ever really interested in it, but last semester I had to write a play script (a little different but still similar) for an assignment and I kind of piqued my interest. I’ll talk more about that further down.

Drama or playwriting is like screenwriting, but generally for a live performance, not something recorded. At least that’s my understanding of it. I don’t really care for this because I feel like you need to be good at choreography in order to be good at playwriting and that seems like a lot more work than I’m interested in.

Next there’s poetry. Usually cryptic, flowery language regarding a theme or topic and together everything represents a whole image or little story. There are many different types of poetry, and because of the common use of improper sentence structures a lot is left up to the interpretation of the reader. Poetry can be beautiful, visual, emotional, educational, or even all of the above. I really don’t give a shit about most poetry but lately I’ve come to appreciate it a little more, mostly through my attempts to write it.

Music and lyric writing is similar to poetry, but with a singsong spin. Generally songs have an overall theme and are written in a way where the vocal glow of the words is pretty important. Usually the writer had an idea of how the music will sound, or the lyrics and song are written at the same time and tweaked at the same time so they complement each other.

Graphic novel and comic writing is really similar to screenwriting because you rely on visuals to tell part of the story. Essentially what you are writing is a script because 90% of it is usually dialogue, that is, language spoken by your characters. The big difference between screenwriting and graphic novel writing (besides the fact that it’s a physical medium) is that there are opportunities to get inside your characters head, which are usually absent in screenwriting unless one of the characters is the narrator.

Alright, so now that I’ve kinda outlined the genres that I think matter, let’s narrow it down to the ones I’ve at least got some interest in. Those would be fiction, creative non-fiction, screenwriting, poetry, and graphic novels. I’d love to be able to write music but I’m a little musically challenged so u don’t think it’s something I can manage right now.

Fiction is an obvious choice–I love making shit up, so this is something I’ll always be writing. No reason to stop, really. Creative non-fiction is a recent interest of mine, from one of the creative writing classes I’m currently taking I’ve learned that it can actually be quite enjoyable to take boring shit and make it interesting. So this is something I’d like to experiment with further.

Poetry and screenwriting are kind of in the same boat; I’ve learned just enough about them to want to pursue more knowledge on how to write them, and then maybe from there I’ll be able to figure out if any of them are something I want to write seriously.

Graphic novels are a little different, though. You don’t necessarily need to know how to draw to write them–lots of writers pair up with artists and work on these together–but I feel like knowing how gives you a lot more room to experiment and practice. So that’s what I’m doing right now (learning how to draw) so I can play around with this genre for a bit.

So deciding on another genre is still a work in progress, but no one said I only had to pick two. I’m going to stick with poetry for now and see what happens in the future as I get the chance to experiment with the others.

~Erynn

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