Fiction generally is a narrative form, in any medium, consisting of people, events, or places that are imaginary—in other words, not based strictly on history or fact.In its most narrow usage, fiction refers to written narratives in prose and often specifically novels, though also novellas and short stories. More broadly, fiction has come to encompass stories with imaginary elements in any format, including not just writings but also most live theatrical performances, films, television programs, radio dramas, comics, role-playing games, and video games.
A work of fiction implies the inventive construction of an imaginary world and, most commonly, its fictionality is publicly acknowledged, so its audience typically expects it to deviate in some ways from the real world rather than presenting only characters who are actual people or descriptions that are factually true.Fiction is generally understood as not adhering precisely to the real world, which also opens it up to various interpretations. Characters and events within a fictional work may even be set in their own context entirely separate from the known universe: an independent fictional universe.
In contrast to fiction is its traditional opposite: non-fiction, in which the creator assumes responsibility for presenting only the historical and factual truth. Despite the usual distinction between fiction and non-fiction, some fiction creators certainly attempt to make their audience believe the work is non-fiction or otherwise blur the boundary, often through forms of experimental fiction (including some postmodern fiction and autofiction)or even through deliberate literary fraud.
Traditionally, fiction includes novels, short stories, fables, legends, myths, fairy tales, epic and narrative poetry, plays (including operas, musicals, dramas, puppet plays, and various kinds of theatrical dances). However, fiction may also encompass comic books, and many animated cartoons, stop motions, anime, manga, films, video games, radio programs, television programs (comedies and dramas), etc.
The Internet has had a major impact on the creation and distribution of fiction, calling into question the feasibility of copyright as a means to ensure royalties are paid to copyright holders.Also, digital libraries such as Project Gutenberg make public domain texts more readily available. The combination of inexpensive home computers, the Internet, and the creativity of its users has also led to new forms of fiction, such as interactive computer games or computer-generated comics. Countless forums for fan fiction can be found online, where loyal followers of specific fictional realms create and distribute derivative stories. The Internet is also used for the development of blog fiction, where a story is delivered through a blog either as flash fiction or serial blog, and collaborative fiction, where a story is written sequentially by different authors, or the entire text can be revised by anyone using a wiki.
Types of literary fiction in prose are distinguished by relative length and include:
Fiction is commonly broken down into a variety of genres: subsets of fiction, each differentiated by a particular unifying tone or style; set of narrative techniques, archetypes, or other tropes; media content; or other popularly defined criterion. Science fiction, for example, predicts or supposes technologies that are not realities at the time of the work's creation: Jules Verne's novel From the Earth to the Moon was published in 1865 and only in 1969 did astronaut Neil Armstrong the first land on the moon.
Historical fiction places imaginary characters into real historical events. In the early historical novel Waverley , Sir Walter Scott's fictional character Edward Waverley meets a figure from history, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and takes part in the Battle of Prestonpans. Some works of fiction are slightly or greatly re-imagined based on some originally true story, or a reconstructed biography.Often, even when the fictional story is based on fact, there may be additions and subtractions from the true story to make it more interesting. An example is Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried , a series of short stories about the Vietnam War.
Fictional works that explicitly involve supernatural, magical, or scientifically impossible elements are often classified under the genre of fantasy, including Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland , J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, and J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings . Creators of fantasy sometimes introduce imaginary creatures and beings such as dragons and fairies.
Literary fiction is a term used in the book-trade to distinguish novels that are regarded as having literary merit, from most commercial or "genre" fiction.
Neal Stephenson has suggested that while any definition will be simplistic there is today a general cultural difference between literary and genre fiction. On the one hand literary authors nowadays are frequently supported by patronage, with employment at a university or a similar institution, and with the continuation of such positions determined not by book sales but by critical acclaim by other established literary authors and critics. On the other hand, he suggests, genre fiction writers tend to support themselves by book sales.However, in an interview, John Updike lamented that "the category of 'literary fiction' has sprung up recently to torment people like me who just set out to write books, and if anybody wanted to read them, terrific, the more the merrier. ... I'm a genre writer of a sort. I write literary fiction, which is like spy fiction or chick lit". Likewise, on The Charlie Rose Show , he argued that this term, when applied to his work, greatly limited him and his expectations of what might come of his writing, so he does not really like it. He suggested that all his works are literary, simply because "they are written in words".
Literary fiction often involves social commentary, political criticism, or reflection on the human condition.In general it focuses on "introspective, in-depth character studies" of "interesting, complex and developed" characters. This contrasts with genre fiction where plot is the central concern. Usually in literary fiction the focus is on the "inner story" of the characters who drive the plot, with detailed motivations to elicit "emotional involvement" in the reader. The style of literary fiction is often described as "elegantly written, lyrical, and ... layered". The tone of literary fiction can be darker than genre fiction, while the pacing of literary fiction may be slower than popular fiction. As Terrence Rafferty notes, "literary fiction, by its nature, allows itself to dawdle, to linger on stray beauties even at the risk of losing its way".
Realistic fiction typically involves a story whose basic setting (time and location in the world) is real and whose events could feasibly happen in a real-world setting; non-realistic fiction involves a story where the opposite is the case, often being set in an entirely imaginary universe, an alternative history of the world other than that currently understood as true, or some other non-existent location or time-period, sometimes even presenting impossible technology or defiance of the currently understood laws of nature. However, all types of fiction arguably invite their audience to explore real ideas, issues, or possibilities in an otherwise imaginary setting or using what is understood about reality to mentally construct something similar to reality, though still distinct from it.
In terms of the traditional separation between fiction and non-fiction, the lines are now commonly understood as blurred, showing more overlap than mutual exclusion. Even fiction usually has elements of or grounding in, truth. The distinction between the two may be best defined from the perspective of the audience, according to whom a work is regarded as non-fiction if its people, places, and events are all historically or factually real, while a work is regarded as fiction if it deviates from reality in any of those areas. The distinction between fiction and non-fiction is further obscured by an understanding, on the one hand, that the truth can be presented through imaginary channels and constructions, while, on the other hand, imagination can just as well bring about significant conclusions about truth and reality.[ citation needed ]
Literary critic James Wood, argues that "fiction is both artifice and verisimilitude", meaning that it requires both creative inventions as well as some acceptable degree of believability,a notion often encapsulated in poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge's term: willing suspension of disbelief. Also, infinite fictional possibilities themselves signal the impossibility of fully knowing reality, provocatively demonstrating that there is no criterion to measure constructs of reality.
Nonfiction or non-fiction is any document, or content that purports in good faith to represent truth and accuracy regarding information, events, or people. Nonfiction content may be presented either objectively or subjectively, and may sometimes take the form of a story. Nonfiction is one of the fundamental divisions of narrative writing— in contrast to fiction, which offers information, events, or characters expected to be partly or largely imaginary, or else leaves open if and how the work refers to reality.
Ursula Kroeber Le Guin was an American author best known for her works of speculative fiction, including science fiction works set in her Hainish universe, and the Earthsea fantasy series. She was first published in 1959, and her literary career spanned nearly sixty years, yielding more than twenty novels and over a hundred short stories, in addition to poetry, literary criticism, translations, and children's books. Frequently described as an author of science fiction, Le Guin has also been called a "major voice in American Letters", and herself said she would prefer to be known as an "American novelist".
A novella is a work of narrative prose fiction, longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. Publishers and literary award societies typically consider a novella's word count to be between 15,000 and 40,000 words, although definitions vary.
A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by literary technique, tone, content, or even length. The distinctions between genres and categories are flexible and loosely defined, often with subgroups. There are 28 common genres found under Fiction and 9 common genres found in Nonfiction.
The Things They Carried (1990) is a collection of linked short stories by American novelist Tim O'Brien, about a platoon of American soldiers fighting on the ground in the Vietnam War. His third book about the war, it is based upon his experiences as a soldier in the 23rd Infantry Division.
In the publishing of novels, literary fiction is a proposed difference between literary and genre fiction. On the one hand, literary authors are frequently supported by patronage, with employment at a university or a similar institution, and with the continuation of such positions determined mainly by critical acclaim by other literary authors and critics. On the other hand, genre fiction writers tend to support themselves by book sales.
Narrative film, fictional film or fiction film is a film that tells a fictional or fictionalized story, event or narrative. In this style of film, believable narratives and characters help convince the audience that the unfolding fiction is real. Lighting and camera movement, among other cinematic elements, have become increasingly important in these films. Great detail goes into the screenplays of narratives, as these films rarely deviate from the predetermined behaviours and lines of the classical style of screenplay writing to maintain a sense of realism. Actors must deliver dialogue and action in a believable way, so as to persuade the audience that the film is real life.
Fiction writing is the composition of non-factual prose texts. Fictional writing often is produced as a story meant to entertain or convey an author's point of view. The result of this may be a short story, novel, novella, screenplay, or drama, which are all types of fictional writing styles. Different types of authors practice fictional writing, including novelists, playwrights, short story writers, radio dramatists and screenwriters.
Suspense is a state of mental uncertainty, anxiety, of being undecided, or of being doubtful. In a dramatic work, suspense is the anticipation of the outcome of a plot or of the solution to an uncertainty, puzzle, or mystery, particularly as it affects a character for whom one has sympathy. However, suspense is not exclusive to fiction.
Orson Scott Card is an American novelist, critic, public speaker, essayist, and columnist. He writes in several genres but is known best for his science fiction works. His novel Ender's Game (1985) and its sequel Speaker for the Dead (1986) won both Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the first author to win the two top American prizes in science fiction literature in consecutive years. A feature film adaptation of Ender's Game, which Card co-produced, was released in 2013. Card also wrote the Locus Fantasy Award-winning series The Tales of Alvin Maker (1987–2003).
Fictional locations are places that exist only in fiction and not in reality, such as the Negaverse or Planet X. Writers may create and describe such places to serve as backdrop for their fictional works. Fictional locations are also created for use as settings in role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons.
Traditional stories, or stories about traditions, differ from both fiction and nonfiction in that the importance of transmitting the story's worldview is generally understood to transcend an immediate need to establish its categorization as imaginary or factual. In the academic circles of literature, religion, history, and anthropology, categories of traditional story are important terminology to identify and interpret stories more precisely. Some stories belong in multiple categories and some stories do not fit into any category.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to fiction:
Literature, most generically, is any body or collection of written works. More restrictively, literature refers to writing considered to be an art form or any single writing deemed to have artistic or intellectual value, and sometimes deploys language in ways that differ from ordinary usage.
Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became fantasy literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels, manga and video games.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to fantasy:
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire media franchise:
Non-fictional discourse is usually embedded in a context that tells you how to take it: an instruction manual, a newspaper report, a letter from a charity. The context of fiction, though, explicitly leaves open the question of what the fiction is really about. Reference to the world is not so much a property of literary [i.e. fictional] works as a function they are given by interpretation.
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