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Noticing Newbies: December 30, 2015 Issue [#7400]

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Noticing Newbies

 This week: Genre Definitions A - E
  Edited by: Sara‚ô•Jean
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Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

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Letter from the editor

Genre Definitions Part 1

Back in 2012, I went through the genres and gave definitions of all that I could. Since then the site has added new genres, and the site has added many, many new users. So, I thought I might bring it back up, and take another look. Should be fun!

Now, each of these definitions is my interpretation of the genres, so there may be other ways to look at it. Remember that you can put up to 3 genres on all of your items.

Action/Adventure - This one is relatively self-explanatory. If it has action and adventure, it can be included here. Action doesn't necessarily have to mean car chases and gun fights, either. Action can fit all sorts of different genres. This genre is often mixed with another genre, rather than just a standalone.

Activity - This one is something that is limited to WdC in many parts. If a person can participate in it, then it is an activity. There are many items that would fall under this automatically - Interactive Stories, Message Boards, Campfire Creatives, Madlibs, Surveys, Word Searches, Crossword Puzzles, etc. They would all classify as activities because they are... yes... activities! I, personally, do not believe that contests fit this genre. There is a more specific genre for those.

Adult - If the item is meant for an adult audience, then this is the genre for it. It might include some sexual type scenes, or perhaps other adult situations with crimes, gangs, etc. Something that children, specifically, should avoid.

Animal - Having a single animal as a side character in a story wouldn't really mean it should be put in the Animal genre. Is your main character an animal? Does the story revolve around an animal? Are all of the characters animals? That's when it should be put here.

Arts - Your story or article should go here if you talk about the arts - architecture, painting, sculpture, or any of the other new and interesting forms that art is taking, anymore. It could also be an actual form of art submitted to the website via the image file type.

Biographical - If it is about someone's life - a real someone's life, it goes here. As WdC does not have an autobiography section, anything about your life would also go here.

Business - If it has to do with how to run a business, investments, businessmen, a story about a corporate tycoon, etc. That sort of thing might fit in this genre.

Career - Now, this is just my opinion, but this genre seems more technical to me than creative. While there very well might be a fictional story about someone's career, it's more likely to fall toward the non-fiction if someone is writing about career. In fiction, it seems that while the career may be the main drive of a character, it would be unlikely to be the focus of the storyline. Non-fiction, however, would have so many uses for this one! Articles on how to further one's career, advice on how to get a career to begin with, etc. I can see poetry coming from these, though, which completely contradicts my comment about fiction.

Children's - This one is a bit sticky. While I've seen those who place this label on a story because it is about children, that doesn't necessarily make it a children's story. The items within this genre should be appropriate for children - rated G, so to speak, if we were talking movie terms. Something that a child would enjoy, and is written specifically for that age group. Items that are written about children aren't necessarily something that would interest a child - those might be more appropriate in the "Family" genre, depending on the topic at hand.

Comedy - Is it funny? Well, then it can be put here! This is probably one of the most wide categories. Any number of stories, articles, poems, and other items can be put within the comedy genre, and be absolutely perfect for it.

Community - There are all kinds of communities. Online communities, communities we live in, neighborhood communities, work communities, etc. On the web, sometimes even forums are called communities, because it is a place where people with similar interests can get together and communicate, support each other, etc. If you create an item with such an environment, it would go very well here.

Computers - This genre could be technical with jargon focused on technology/computers, or it could have a main character that's a computer, or, or, or... it has a lot of possibilities.

Contest - Please note, this is not the genre you label your contest entries with. I see it misused as that all the time. There is a genre named "Contest Entry", and that is where your entries should go. This genre should only be for actual contests on the site, that way it makes it easier for those looking for contests to find them. That, of course, or stories/poems/articles about contests. *Smile*

Contest Entry - This is where you put those contest entries. It's helpful to label contest entries with this genre because it lets your readers know you catered the item after specific guidelines. (And sometimes those guidelines aren't those we would usually follow, so we are uncomfortable with them or they might be unusual to the story.)

Crime/Gangster - When I think of this genre, I think of The Godfather movies. There's crime, there's gangsters, there's a funny talking boss-dude - it's the epitome of crime/gangster for my own mind.

Cultural - This genre is very interesting to me. When there are cultures different from mine, my first reaction is to learn about them. I love the tales from other cultures, it allows you to know so much about the past belief systems of a culture, or the stories they used to teach their children right from wrong while they were growing up. If it has anything to do with culture, it should go here. Folk tales, stories passed down from generation to generation, or even articles explaining why a certain culture does some things are appropriate here.

Dark - This one is actually harder for me to describe. I've seen movies and books which I see as "dark", but putting a description to it is more difficult. (Dark Knight would actually be an example.) I guess I would describe this genre as being one that approaches difficult subjects - situations in which most everyone will die, where there is no hope - those sorts of things would be "dark" to me. There might or might not be a happy ending, but the subject matter in general is certainly not one meant to lift others up. It might even be considered somewhat depressing, so to speak.

Death - I think this one is rather self-explanatory. The death genre addresses death. Either by investigation (trying to see who is guilty of causing someone's death), or by description, or by happenings, etc.

Detective - Detective and Mystery are often swapped - but not all mysteries are detective stories. Detective stories should have just that - a detective. Or several, for that matter. As long as there is someone there investigating the mystery. Sherlock Holmes is a very good description of a detective story.

Drama - Looking up on the net, I find drama to be "a genre that relies on the emotional and relational development of realistic characters". It is actually the description given for screenplays or movies, but I think it applies perfectly to books, as well. As such, I also believe there would be drama in nearly every story, at least in part. But it might not be enough to be classified as the actual story genre. (Quoted words taken from thescriptlab.com/screenplay/genre/drama)

Educational - This one is simple - does it teach something? Is it about something you learned? Educational doesn't necessarily have to apply to school. There are many lessons learned outside of a classroom that are just as educational as what happens inside a classroom.

Emotional - Whether it is emotional for you, or you hope that it gives emotion to your readers, you could put a story here if the central theme around it is emotion. If you're anything like me, everything is emotional. I cry at commercials, but that's ok! At least I know and accept it.

Entertainment - This genre is a little more complicated. I would think this genre would lean toward writing about entertainment, not necessarily giving entertainment itself. Most writing can be considered entertainment, so to make this one more specific, I'd say this genre should gear toward entertaining the action - how to entertain, being in the entertainment industry,etc.

Environment - I believe this genre could go the technical direction (i.e. an article about creating an appropriate and productive work environment), or it could go in a direction where an environment, or world, is described in detail for a setting purpose.

Erotica - Erotica is one I won't be able to feature a story for here because of the ratings of the stories written, but this genre includes sexual content. Often, it is the theme of the story - more than just a love story, it gets into the nooks and crannies of a physical relationship, as well.

Experience - I think this genre most fits into a Biographical type sense, and therefore would often be paired with that kind of item. (Autobiographical, more specifically, but we have already talked about that.) It could be in place of an Autobiography, even. If you have experienced it, and you would like to write about it, place it here.

Let me know if you might have some different genre ideas. I'd love to hear how you use the genres in your own writing.

Editor's Picks

I'll pick some items that fall within the chosen Genres for this newsletter this time.

Action/Adventure and Fantasy - have fun with this one! It has chapters...
 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2068046 by Not Available.

Activity and Community
Blog City Prompt Forum  (E)
Message forum for Blog City group members to place their entries to blog prompts
#1972533 by Witchy woman prays 4 Ukraine

Animal and Contest Entry
 Patiently Waiting  (E)
From abandonment to reunion: it's all in a dog's day
#2069762 by Jamie

Comedy and Children's
 I'm Great at Math  (E)
Day 6 of Happy Poems- *there is nothing of educational value here*
#2061416 by OctoPrepDragon

Case File #114  (18+)
a Del Delaney, P.I. mystery...
#2058508 by Jim Hall

 Exercise in Settings  (E)
Extracting childhood memories
#1303676 by Gunny

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Ask & Answer

It's almost New Year's! My challenge to you, this newsletter, is to pick a genre you've never tried before and be willing to experience it. Read it. Try a story. Branch out and increase your knowledge. The only bad that could happen is you not liking it. Nothing to lose.

Here's some of the feedback I received from my last newsletter, "Noticing Newbies Newsletter (December 2, 2015)

Elle (she/her) wrote, "An excellent newsletter, with great reviewing advice. I thought the idea of wording your review as if you were sending it to your boss was an excellent one. It costs nothing to be polite, whilst remaining honest about what we thought of an item. *Thumbsup*"

Thank you! And that is true. Being polite is free, and it is refreshing for the other person, also.

Crow wrote, "I totally agree with the difficulty encountered by some reviewers. I have looked at bodies of work and wondered what in the world was I going to say about it. Sometimes I just pass.

I recent had one reviewer state that the premise of my piece was "stupid" Well, that certainly went against the rules for reviewing. I must say that I was a little shocked at such a superior attitude. We exchanged a few emails and parted friendly. Knowing myself as I do, it could have gone badly. I gave the reviewer the benefit of the doubt, but all reviewers should be careful of kneejerk reactions. They usually prove wholly inappropriate.
When I review I determine to be as encouraging as I can without just telling the writer what he or she wants to hear. Nobody wins in that case.


I am glad you were able to show restraint and give the reviewer time to explain themselves! Stupid is a pretty harsh word, but it is thrown around in some circles as if it isn't, and sometimes text doesn't translate well.

Whata DearthOfSpoons wrote, "Hello there! I found this newsletter a helpful and articulate reminder of the QUALITY of reviewing an item. So often our minds tend to gear to too quick reviews and a hushed response. Is it always easy to review with honesty?Nope. I think of it as a matter of integrity to find something honest and positive to say while reviewing. Again, a good reminder!

What are some tips you can give to some newer reviewers?
IF an item doesn't interest you much and you're struggling with something to say, try to come up with one or more EMOTIONS the piece made you feel. If a certain phrase makes you smile, say so. If the entirety makes you nostalgic, give an example of how you can relate their item with something from your past. Be as specific as you wish, just share your emotions with the author.

Not that technical reviews are in any way 'bad', but if you aren't connecting with the piece or you don't have much time, choose an emotion and go from there. Subject to individual personalities of course WINKY WINK.


Sometimes, the honesty is hard. We are afraid to hurt someone's feelings. Text doesn't display emotion well in that sort of situation, and I have hurt people without meaning to, even when I am doing what I believe they wish me to do.

Joy wrote, "Great NL, Sara Jean *Heart*, and a concise yet inspirational editorial to encourage the newbie reviewers toward better reviewing. Thanks for this. *Smile*"

Thank you!

Osirantinous wrote, "SaraJean, this is great advice for all reviewers, not just newbies!! One thing I like to find out from reviewers is why they're reviewing a piece. Did the title catch their eye? Did someone else recommend it? And also how they found the item (sometimes answered by the above). I've had some old pieces reviewed out of the blue and I always think 'how the heck did you find that????' I doubt it's because they trawled through my portfolio. One final big tip: review in the manner that you want to be reviewed. Don't expect awesome reviews if you can't be bothered to do the same yourself."

I think this is something I hadn't considered, but is also true. Don't expect something you aren't willing to spend time on yourself. It makes complete sense.

Jace wrote, "Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this difficult subject, Miss SaraJean. I've been there staring at a story wondering how I could ever review it. The thing is, those are often the stories (and authors) that really need a review. And no, it's NOT because you're a better writer--it's because you have the opportunity to just express your opinion that may help."

I agree entirely!

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