Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Kinds of Writing

I know this would come as a shock but the most common phrase which sends people over here, is 'kinds of writing.'
I know your jaw just dropped! And don't you deny it.

In any event, when I started this blog and called it All Kinds of Writing, I had a few specific kinds of writing in my head. Mostly fiction and freelance (as in writing articles for magazines).

But there are many more kinds of writing. I really wanted to try to list them here briefly but there are far too many groupings and sub-groupings.
I'll try to explain:

One division of the kinds of writings is as follows:
- Expository Writing - where the writing serves to explain, inform
- Descriptive Writing - writing that serves to show, describe
- Narrative Writing - tells a story
- Persuasive Writing - arguing for or against an issue
- Creative Writing - interestingly, creative writing is a vague term, but it includes (while isn't limited to) fiction (across the genres), poetry, drama, screenwriting, autobiographies and more.

Another way to divide the kinds of writing is from a target audience, or purpose point of view. So there can be:
- Academic writing - includes essays, research papers, reports and so on, each of them may use some of the modes listed above.
- Professional Writing - writing for academic or scientific journals, business reports, position papers, policy statements, and the likes, because these have to follow a standardized form.
- Business writing - includes technical writing, business plan writing, resume writing, letter writing etc.
- Copywriting - writing marketing text, grant writing
- Journalists, columnists, article writers (staff or freelance) - these writers write for newspapers and magazines either news articles, commentary or articles which focus on a certain subject
- Non-fiction book writers
- Fiction - novelists, screenwriters, playwrights, short stories writers, etc.
- Poets

Now where would you categorize game writers, ghostwriters and speech writers? And are translators writers?

I don't think I covered everything. In fact, I'm sure I didn't. Take fiction writing for example - what about genre writing? Is each of the genres a kind of writing? What about the different styles of poems? Is writing haikus a class in its own? And then we have those who write book reviews, or those who write the obits. How many kinds of writing are there? How far and deep can we get dividing them? And what writer makes the most money???
Read the rest

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Deborah said...

I recently heard of a genre called Creative Non-fiction, although I haven't researched into exactly what this is.

You raised some interesting questions. I know the writer's markets tend to clump the genres together, unless they want a specific genre or subject. As for how deep we can go with the classification, I think there are hundreds of sub-genres, especially if you blend two or more.

Some good high-paying fields are ghostwriting, technical writing, copywriting, and business writing (proposals, company manuals, etc.).

Nienke said...

I think many elements cross over from one style to another as well. Forex, I write non-fiction articles for my day job, but there is an element of creativity, exposition, description, narrative, and, sometimes, pursuasion. Same is true in my fiction writing. In addition, because both styles need accurate information, so there is an element of academic writing and research. I've also heard countless times that in fiction, you must write the truth.
Are there really any lines?

Carter said...

Remember the story about King Canute ordering the tide not to come in? That's what you're up against here. These kinds of divisions can be as broad or as narrow as you like, and they'll be different for everybody.

Good pot, though. Great food for thought.

Carter said...

POST! Good POST! I have no idea whether or not your pot is any good. That has to stay between you and your dealer. ;-)

Melly said...

Deborah, exactly what I meant. Many of the 'writing types' from the second category use some or most of the 'writing methods' from the first category. Hence, non-fiction writing! That's just it!

Oh, Nienke, you put it so much better than I did. Thanks :)

Carter (1), I kinda had the feeling after starting to write this post that this is what I was up against. Pot, food for thought (in the pot?)

Carter (2) - well... I used to live in BC and you know what they say about BC pot. Alas, I'm no longer there ;)

Ryan Oakley said...

I would say that business and academic writing certainly falls under fiction. Same with auto-biography or memoir. (Especially since since that debacle involving that snivelling, bearded drunkard and the pompous television host.) I would say it's all fiction.

Anonymous said...

A lot of game writers are fiction writers, screen writers and comic book writers who are trying something new or just love to play games. We are talking about video games, right?

melly said...

Ryan, now that solves a lot of problems for me. Wish you told me that before I wrote the post ;)

LOL Fred. Right :)

rdl said...

Great post! Too bad the joke writers don't make any money. or how bout the fortune cookie writers. Say good nite, gracie. Goodnite, gracie. :D

Patry Francis said...

Not sure which writers make the most money, but my guess would be those who write diet books!

I'll be looking forward to seeing what your other key words and phrases are.

Diddums said...

Do the searchers use Google Blog Search or the main Google search engine? Depending on which, it might have a bearing on the kind of content they hope to find. I only recently noticed that blog content tends to be searchable by one or the other, not both. My posts don’t seem to have been pinged to (though they are supposed to be), and so they show up on the main searches but not on Google Blog Search. I don’t know which is preferable, to be honest! There are those who want all our boring rabbity blogs to be removed from the main search and consigned to a kind of Blog Backwater - where we mingle with the splogs and the porn.

Melly said...

rdl, joke writers are definitely a class on its own :)

Patry, you know what? You're probably right! LOL :)

Diddums, I guess both searchs, diddums. Although blog searches tend to be more trendy, I find, rather than topical. Not always and everybody of course.

Pat Kirby said...

I recently heard of a genre called Creative Non-fiction, although I haven't researched into exactly what this is.

Isn't that what that guy that wrote the "Million Little Pieces" book/memoir wrote? Snerk.

Trée said...

Melly, just checking in. Hope and trust you are doing well my friend.

Anonymous said...

Melly! Where are ya? Hope all is well.

rdl said...

melly where are ya, we miss you!!!

Melly said...

Pat, the emphasis there, I believe, was on the creative part...

Trée, Fred and rdl, thanks :)
All is indeed well. I just forgot my English for a while ;)

stephanie said...

i had to know what narritive writing is thanks i totaly for got

tabz said...

i am so happy to come across ur blog,im a mom who just turned 30,i want to write,have wanted to write for as long as i can remember.but i dont know how to start after an 8 yr break from my own life to have kids,shud i study creative writing,or journalism or what. 'literary journalism' is a new term i came across.any suggestions or advise?

Shak_Pac said...

you forgot to add in communicative writing
have to write an essay on the history of writing
guess what?

Anonymous said...

Wow... I'm doing a paper for poetry and i had a question asking what kinds of writing are there and when i saw this blog I'm like: "OMG that's a lot!!"
Thanks to your blog I'm getting an A!

neng kimleng said...

Hi, anyone there! I would like ask you the kind of writing which I write in
first person singular about other's story not my own story. What we call
this kind of writing? Autobiography???