by Kimberly A. Cook (Twitter@ WarriorTales)
Got together with my writer support group this past weekend. We always have interesting conversations. One topic included how writers trained in one type of writing can run into roadblocks and challenges switching to another style of writing.
Isn’t all writing the same? Nope. On the newspaper it seemed pretty clear; news, editorial, feature and sports writing were all different animals. News would be like a police report with more details, editorial an opinion supported by evidence, features were true short stories and sports a combination of feature and news with more storytelling.
When a journalist tries to write memoir, they can fall down Alice’s rabbit hole. Trained to be objective and keep personal thoughts and feelings out of reporting, a memoir requires running naked for all the world to see including thoughts, feelings and (gasp) our personal emotions. It takes time and practice to master the switch.
The same goes for fiction, poetry, short stories, screenwriting, non-fiction and blogs. Each writing type requires different care and feeding. No two writers are alike. Or pumpkins. Imagine if everyone only liked one type of writing? Boring. If there was only one way to carve or decorate a pumpkin or if all pumpkins had to be the same size and shape? Really boring.
Writing genres and pumpkins have a lot in common. No two are really the same and every reader gets to choose their favorite. Pumpkin or book. Or comic. Or YouTube video. Are writers allowed to change pumpkins, er genres? Yes. Will it require homework and study? Yup. Should that stop us? No.
All writing improves the craft, even if we find out we don’t want to write fiction or non-fiction or ad copy. That is part of the process. So when you are picking out your favorite pumpkin and admiring the creations displayed this week remember; in writing and pumpkins – variety is the spice in writing – or something like that. Happy Halloween!