In honor of upcoming NaNoWriMo, I’m here as your friendly neighborhood multi-genre writer to remind you that your fiction can benefit greatly from studying multiple genres.

 

What can a fiction writer learn from poetry?

Why the beginnings and ends of things matter

How identity affects your voice, your expression, and your world

Meter, musicality, rhythm

How to use imagery like you would a scalpel, or a needle, or a broom

 

What can a fiction writer learn from screenwriting?

Story structure (mythic structure)

How to follow an image or symbolic prop through a story

Thematic through-lines, the “spine” of story

How to incorporate complex world building without excess exposition

 

What can a fiction writer learn from comics?

Story structure: manga in particular often uses kishotenketsu

How to manipulate time

Isolating the important moments of a story/doing scene breakdowns

Character design: how physicality of characters can connect to their personalities/arcs

Innovative idea generation

 

What can a fiction writer learn from nonfiction?

Figure out where the narrative structure is in a nonfiction book. There is one. That is why nonfiction books are interesting.

Then go read Mary Rufle’s Madness, Rack, and Honey and have some feelings. Okay? Okay.