As a writer, you might not know about the different types of writing or which type suits you best. I’ve decided to include a wide variety of types of writing so you can experiment and see which one suits you.
Blogging is a really good way at developing your writing style because it’s your personal space to write about what you want, how you want, when you want. If you want to create a blog post everyday, there’s nothing stopping you. If you want to post about music videos, there’s nobody stopping you. Or perhaps you’d prefer to cover more political posts. Or perhaps lifestyle blogging is more your forté. Whatever you want to blog, you totally can.
At hers and Carrie’s joint book signing, Louise Pentland, aka Sprinkleofglitter, suggested blogging as the first venture into writing because it’s personal to you and what you want to write about, and because nobody really knows about your blog, you don’t feel the pressure of having to stick to a schedule or writing about specific things. You have the freedom to do as you please.
Novels are, by definition, a fictional story of a specific number of words. Although, there isn’t a universal set number of words so aim for 40,000 words and you can classify your fictional story as a novel. Or go by NaNoWriMo’s definition of 50,000 words. Either works.
A novel is great because you can develop a story arc with a few characters and see where their journey takes you. However, writing a novel is time consuming and requires a fair amount of perseverance. But you won’t be alone if all you do is procrastinate instead and constantly question if what you’re writing is good enough, because 99% of writers will join you in their highly caffeinated state.
A novel is so worthwhile though if you can make it to the end. Whether you’re the type of writer who adores their characters and bashes anyone who dares criticises them or you’re the type of writer to continually crush them because you secretly love playing god, trust me, it’s so worthwhile when you can write ‘to be continued’ or ‘the end’, knowing you made it through this marathon of a self inflicted task. Then you either continue the story or you start a new one and the whole process begins again.
3. Short Stories
If novels are too daunting or time consuming or you just simply don’t have enough plot, you can write a short story. Again, with no set number of words, aim for about 10,000 words and you can classify that fictional story into a short story. Although, short stories do have many other names for them, such as a ficlet or a drabble, and they can vary by length. Hell, even a 6 word story counts, technically, as a short story.
Honestly, sometimes writing short stories is easier. You have the characters and you have the story arc, but you don’t have to write as much and undergo the time consuming writing process (as fun as it can be… sometimes). You could just write a few scenes for the character and we, the reader, only see portions of their story. Or you could give us one scene that might be quite long but tells us enough about the character.
4. Autobiography / Memoir
An autobiography/memoir is incredibly personal because it’s about your life. But depending how much you write, and in what order, determines whether it’s classed as an autobiography or a memoir.
An autobiography is defined as writing about your life chronologically, from birth to now (but you don’t have to go into detail about every part of your life, just the key parts).
A memoir is defined as writing about sections of your life in a random order and they’ll typically have an ongoing theme throughout, linking each part together.
Autobiographies/memoirs are good for assessing your life and uncovering aspects to yourself you’d either brushed aside as not important or as too traumatic, and it helps offer your perspective to others. For example, if you’ve gone through a difficult time, writing it down and then sharing it with your loved ones might help them understand what exactly happened and they might sympathise with you about it. Or, if you’ve been in a unique situation, it can be good to offer your perspective and your experience with this situation.
Academic essays are probably what first sprung to mind when you saw the word essays. However, you can write personal essays too which typically centre round a specific point, usually to change your perspective on something. From celebrities and their wrongdoings to the general mistakes of society, a personal essay can be about anything, but it should definitely have a point that you make clear at the end.
But it wouldn’t be fair of me to mention personal essays and not academic essays. Knowing how to write an essay is crucial for basically your entire school life (unfortunately). You’ll be graded and judged based on how you critically analyse information given to you, or how to have a well balanced debate but come to an ultimate conclusion. It’s an important skill to have, especially if you enter essay writing competitions.
Personally, I can’t tell you too much about poetry because I was always told ‘anything can be poetry’ and then I’d write something and they’d tell me ‘this isn’t poetry’. Another one of those contradicting statements writing seem to be full of.
Poetry can be any length and written any way you like. There are plenty of poetry styles to try, from sonnets to haikus to sestinas. But poetry is about imagery and rhythm, as I’m now finding out. The line can break wherever you want, but it should make sense with the flow of the poem. For example, I counted out how many beats per line I wanted when I wrote a poem about a ballerina, and shockingly, that has been the only poem any of my lecturers liked.
Because I lack the knowledge to write an entire paragraph about it, I assume the rules apply to song lyrics. If you can perfect poetry, I’d imagine song lyrics can’t be much different from that. But if I’m wrong, please do tell me.
7. Scripts / Monologues
Although monologues (and duologues) are performed following a script, they tend to be a long speech aimed at voicing mental thoughts or addressing an audience/character.
A script follows the characters with their story arc, except scripts are dramatised. Whether as a theatre production or as a TV program/film, scripts are instructions for the actors/actresses to follow as they create the visual end production. Or, if they do a radio play or do voice acting, they create an audio end production. Regardless, they should follow the dialogue as written (but it doesn’t always mean they will) and the stage directions for what they’re physically supposed to do in the scene.
Journalism is obtaining some information and converting it into entertaining and/or easy to read news, depending on the company you work for. You need to cover the basics using the 4 Ws and 1 H method, and fleshing it out with other facts or provide context. Sometimes, journalists incorporate in their opinions, or they’ll tell the story in a biased way so the reader will be swayed to their way of thinking.
This isn’t something I’m encouraging with the other types but I implore you to learn how to identify what is real news and what is fake news, because otherwise fake/sensationalised news will continue to rise and it leads to misconceptions and potentially abusive situations.
9. Content Creation
Content creation is writing blog posts, social media posts, marketing emails and/or text for websites, which is usually aimed at a specific audience and might feature technical language, depending how niche the company is. It’s designed to bring recognition to your company/client.
But content creation also goes into knowing what you’re posting when and seeing the impact your content has on your audience because otherwise, you’ll wasting valuable money on nothing.
10. Other Writing Types
Diaries, journals, letters, speeches, eulogies. The list could potentially get long with all the other writing types that exist. I’d encourage you to look into them all, especially the ones I mentioned above, and give each one a try. You’ll soon find what works for you and what doesn’t.
Finding the right writing type for you can be a time consuming process, or it can be a wonderful discovery. Whichever writing type suits you, keep at it. You never know what you might create.
What writing type did I leave out, if I did? Which is your favourite(s)?