Is my subject comedy?

by Peter Robinson
(Roseburg, Oregon)

Question: I am writing about...hold your breath, sit down; POOP, you know a non vulgar name for S***. What genre should I apply?

Answer: Well... that rather depends on how you are treating the subject.

If you are writing about it in a factual way, that would be nonfiction.

If you are writing a story filled with bathroom jokes, that could be humour.

If you are using your topic to comment on the absurdities of human beings, their characters, institutions, foibles, and relationships, then you could be writing satire. If your story also ends sadly, it could be black comedy.

If these jokes are merely a theme in a story about two people falling in love or the healing of relationships in a community, you would be writing a comedy.

If you are writing about a future in which human waste disposal becomes such a serious issue that it affects society, then you could be writing science fiction.

If someone in your book is murdered and a major clue to the killer is contained in a sample of feces, that would be a mystery.

If you are writing about a perilous journey through a sewer in search of a valuable prize or to destroy a monster, that would be an adventure story.

If you are writing the book to appeal to children aged 9-12, that would be middle-grade or juvenile fiction (which would be a good choice, because kids at that age love toilet humour). If it's for high school or college aged readers, that would be young adult.


You see, it's not the subject matter, but what you do with it, that determines genre.

Click here to post comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Genre Invite.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Celebrating our 2nd year as one of the...

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero