With Camp NaNoWriMo and NaPoWriMo coming up next month, as well as the end of the school year approaching and bringing with it extra time to begin work on new writing projects, I’m finding my world abuzz with different mediums for writing. However, while I talk often about the various writing projects you might be tackling at the moment, I recently realized that I have never actually detailed what those might be or why it is important to differentiate them from one another.
Now, of course there is fiction and non-fiction prose, as well as various types of poetry and screenplays. From there, one can separate their writing even further, by genre if it is prose or by the meter and type of their poems if writing poetry. Even if these are the most common forms of writing, however, there are still countless other ways to use words and tell a story. Translation pieces, lyric and song-writing, fan fiction, technical writing, flash fiction — all are unique and creative types of writing that are easy to overlook when looking at a broader spectrum of “writers” as a whole.
Many people, when thinking about a writer, picture an author of novels or some other fiction piece. However, not all writing is fiction, and each different type of project will require a different style and format depending on what medium is used. If you are writing in prose and are feeling trapped in trying to tell your story, don’t be afraid to try one idea out in multiple formats. While one story might work better as a novel, another might be more suited to becoming a piece of flash fiction or a collection of poems.
Even if you do know what medium you prefer, it can also give you new ideas and inspiration for new projects to experiment with new mediums. I must admit, my comfort zone has always been in writing fiction prose at any length. Whether it be an entire novel or a half-page’s worth of story, my writing seems to always lend itself to these mediums. Yet I am excited to try my hand at poetry for a month and see where it might take me.
All in all, I have one small piece of advice: new experiences can be inspiring and, in the right situation, liberating. The next time you find yourself in a tough spot of whatever your project may be, write it in a different way or even an entire different medium. You might find that the novel you’ve been writing was better as a screenplay all along.
“I slackened the reins in one hand while drawing the other close to my hip, telling Legs to take a sharp turn toward the grassy circle in the center of the ring. I began to search for an open spot on the other side of the ring, trying to take in where Colby stood and whether I could squeeze in between Hootie and Taterbug or if I needed to circle back.
“The quick and unexpected transition was causing my mind to race in order to remember a thousand different mantras and rules in proper form and etiquette. My heels were up, my path toward the other side of the arena was clear and my back stayed perfectly straight in my saddle. In focusing on everything else, though, I neglected to leave Legs enough room to make the necessary turn.”
By Nicole Schroeder