Writing Wednesday: Sneaking Netflix Categorizations into Your Writing

22 Feb

Netflix is great at categorizing films.  I was recently surfing their movie listings and not only did they have the plain-Jane genre drama but within that there were subgenres.  After all, drama can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people.  Do I want a tearjerker?  A hard-hitting political film?  An uncomfortable look at a dysfunctional family?  I’m Greek; I’ve got enough drama in my family that I don’t need to watch other mothers go all Medea on their kids.  Now I can skip right over the family dramas section and go straight to crime dramas.  Pass me the popcorn!

It’s pretty easy to tell the difference between a family drama and a crime drama.  Where the categorizations are really telling, though, are when they suggest not just the subject matter but the tone of the film.  For example, under both comedy and drama, one might find a dramedy, which is–you guessed it!–a combination of both genres.

When it comes to writing, it’s important to think beyond surface-level genre and consider tone.

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