As I have been moving through my Creative Writing studies I’ve found myself learning a lot about various writing styles. I’ve been working most recently with fiction, screenwriting, and play-writing. Fiction has been my default style, and what I feel most comfortable with. However, I decided to branch out to understand other kinds of writing.
Screenwriting and play-writing have similar qualities. While they use different formats, the main difference is what you would include in a screenplay versus a play. Screenplays can typically have more characters and more locations, while plays are easiest to produce when kept simple. It’s still possible to write plays with lots of settings and characters, it just makes them harder to implement.
Both play-writing and screenwriting focus on dialogue. Those who see the final product won’t know what you included for scene description, so you’re conversations and monologues are important. I have found this aspect both worrying and inspiring since dialogue is what I have been most hesitant about in my fiction pieces. Writing in these styles has encouraged me to improve my dialogue.
If you’re a fiction writer who has never tried different styles, give it a chance! Even if you don’t stick with writing in that style, aspects of your fiction will improve. Learning multiple styles allows for you to find the elements of each that work best for your writing.
by Hallie Eickhoff