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Encyclopedia > Fiction
An illustration from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, depicting the fictional protagonist, Alice, playing a fantastical game of croquet.
An illustration from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, depicting the fictional protagonist, Alice, playing a fantastical game of croquet.

Fiction is story telling. More specifically, fiction is an imaginative form of narrative, one of the four basic rhetorical modes. Although the word fiction is derived from the Latin fingere, "to form, create", works of fiction need not be entirely imaginary and may include real people, places, and events. Fiction may be either written or oral. Although not all fiction is necessarily artistic, fiction is largely perceived as a form of art and/or entertainment. The ability to create fiction and other artistic works is considered to be a fundamental aspect of human culture, one of the defining characteristics of humanity. Look up fiction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image File history File links Alice_par_John_Tenniel_30. ... Image File history File links Alice_par_John_Tenniel_30. ... Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (IPA: ) (January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898), better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman and photographer. ... “Alice in Wonderland” redirects here. ... A protagonist is the main figure of a piece of literature or drama and has the main part or role. ... John Tenniel illustrated the first editions of the Alice books. ... For other uses, see Fantasy (disambiguation). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Rhetorical modes (also known as modes of discourse) describe the variety, the conventions, and the purposes of the major kinds of writing; four of the most common rhetorical modes and their purpose are exposition, argumentation, description, and narration. ... This article is about the philosophical concept of Art. ... A stilt-walker entertaining shoppers at a shopping centre in Swindon, England Entertainment is an event, performance, or activity designed to give pleasure or relaxation to an audience (although, for example, in the case of a computer game the audience may be only one person). ... For other uses, see Culture (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Human nature (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Elements of fiction

Even among writing instructors and bestselling authors, there appears to be little consensus regarding the number and composition of the fundamental elements of fiction. For example:

  • "Fiction has three main elements: plotting, character, and place or setting." (Morrell 2006, p. 151)
  • "A charged image evokes all the other elements of your story—theme, character, conflict, setting, style, and so on." (Writer's Digest Handbook of Novel Writing 1992, p. 160)
  • "For writers, the spices you add to make your plot your own include characters, setting, and dialogue." (Bell 2004, p. 16)
  • "Contained within the framework of a story are the major story elements: characters, action, and conflict." (Evanovich 2006, p. 83)
  • " . . . I think point of view is one of the most fundamental elements of the fiction-writing craft . . ." (Selgin 2007, p. 41)

As stated by Janet Evanovich, "Effective writing requires an understanding of the fundamental elements of storytelling, such as point of view, dialogue, and setting." (Evanovich 2006, p. 39) Regardless of its import, the debate continues as to the number and composition of the fundamental elements of fiction. [1]


Character

Characterization is often listed as one of the fundamental elements of fiction. A character is a participant in the story, and is usually a person, but may be any persona, identity, or entity whose existence originates from a fictional work or performance.


Characters may be of several types:

  • Point-of-view character: the character from whom the story is viewed.
  • Protagonist: the main character of a story
  • Antagonist: the character that stands in opposition to the protagonist
  • Supporting character: A character that plays a part in the plot but is not major
  • Minor character: a character in a bit/cameo part

A protagonist is the main figure of a piece of literature or drama and has the main part or role. ... An ...

Plot

Plot, or storyline, is often listed as one of the fundamental elements of fiction. It is the rendering and ordering of the events and actions of a story. On a micro level, plot consists of action and reaction, also referred to as stimulus and response. On a macro level, plot has a beginning, a middle, and an ending. Plot is often depicted as an arc with a zig-zag line to represent the rise and fall of action. Plot also has a mid-level structure: scene and sequel. A scene is a unit of drama—where the action occurs. Then, after a transition of some sort, comes the sequel—an emotional reaction and regrouping, an aftermath. (Bickham 1993, pp. 23-62) Look up plot in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A scene is an episode in a story. ...


Setting

Setting, the locale and time of a story, is often listed as one of the fundamental elements of fiction. Sometimes setting is referred to as milieu, to include a context (such as society) beyond the immediate surroundings of the story. In some cases, setting becomes a character itself and can set the tone of a story. (Rozelle 2005, p. 2) Setting is a term in literature and drama usually referring to the time and location in which a story takes place. ...


Theme

Theme, a conceptual distillation of the story, is often listed as one of the fundamental elements of fiction. It is the central idea or insight serving as a unifying element, creating cohesion. (Morrell 2006, p. 263) In literature (as well as many works of nonfiction), a theme is the main idea of the story, or the message the author is conveying. ...


Style

Style is sometimes listed as one of the fundamental elements of fiction. Style is not so much what is written, but how it is written. Every writer has his or her own unique style, sometimes referred to as voice. (Provost 1988, p. 8)


Categories

Main article: Literary genre

Types of prose fiction: A literary genre is one of the divisions of literature into genres according to particular criteria such as literary technique, tone, or content. ...

  • Flash fiction: A work of fewer than 2,000 words. (1,000 by some definitions) (around 5 pages)
  • Short story: A work of at least 2,000 words but under 7,500 words. (between about 10 and 40 pages)
  • Novelette: A work of at least 7,500 words but under 17,500 words. (40-90 pages)
  • Novella: A work of at least 17,500 words but under 60,000 words. (90-300 pages)
  • Novel: A work of 60,000 words or more. (about 300+ pages)
  • Epic: A work of 200,000 words or more. (about 1000+ pages)[citation needed][1][2]

// Flash fiction is fiction characterized by its extreme brevity, as measured by its length in words. ... This article is in need of attention. ... A novelette (or novelet) is a piece of short prose fiction. ... A novella is a narrative work of prose fiction somewhat longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... The epic is a broadly defined genre of narrative poetry, characterized by great length, multiple settings, large numbers of characters, or long span of time involved. ...

Forms of fiction

Traditionally, fiction includes novels, short stories, fables, fairy tales, plays, and poems, but it now also encompasses films, comic books, and video games. This article is about the literary concept. ... This article is in need of attention. ... For other uses of the term, see fable (disambiguation). ... A fairy tale is a story, either told to children or as if told to children, concerning the adventures of mythical characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and others. ... For other uses, see Play (disambiguation). ... Poetry (ancient Greek: poieo = create) is an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. ... Fictional film or narrative film uses chronological reality to tell a fictional story. ... A comic book is a magazine or book containing the art form of comics. ... This article is about computer and video games. ...


The Internet has had a major impact on the 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 serialblog, and collaborative fiction, where a story is written sequentially by different authors, or the entire text can be revised by anyone using wiki. Not to be confused with copywriting. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A digital library is, like a traditional library, a collection of books and reference materials. ... Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive and distribute cultural works. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... A computer game is a game composed of a computer-controlled virtual universe that players interact with in order to achieve a defined goal or set of goals. ... Fan fiction (also spelled fanfiction and commonly abbreviated to fanfic) is fiction written by people who enjoy a film, novel, television show or other media work, using the characters and situations developed in it and developing new plots in which to use these characters. ... A fictional universe is a cohesive fictional world that serves as the setting or backdrop for one or (more commonly) multiple works of fiction. ... // Introduction Using weblogs to explore various possibilities for constructing fictional works, Blog fiction is a burgeoning format for creative digital writing and distribution on the Internet, rising in popularity when free, automated blog generators began appearing in 1999 and, most likely, will come to full artistic fruition within the iGeneration. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Collaborative fiction is a form of writing by two or more authors who take it in turns to write a portion of the story. ... Look up Wiki in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Uses of fiction

Although fiction may be viewed as a form of entertainment, it has other uses. Fiction has been used for instructional purposes, such as fictional examples used in school textbooks. It may be used in propaganda and advertising. It may be perpetuated by parents out of tradition such as with Santa Claus or to instill beliefs and values. Although they are not necessarily targeted at children, fables offer an explicit moral goal. Students in Rome, Italy. ... For other uses, see Propaganda (disambiguation). ... “Advert” redirects here. ... For the opening number of Fiddler on the Roof, see Tradition (song). ... A typical depiction of Santa Claus. ... For a comparison of fable with other kinds of stories, see Myth, legend, fairy tale, and fable. ...


References

  • Bell, James Scott (2004). Write Great Fiction: Plot and Structure. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. 
  • Bickham, Jack M. (1993). Scene & Structure. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 23-62. 
  • Edgerton, Les (2003). Finding Your Voice: How to Put Personality in Your Writing. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. 
  • Evanovich, Janet (2006). How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 39 and 83. 
  • Morrell, Jessica Page (2006). Between the Lines: Master the Subtle Elements of Fiction Writing. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. 
  • Provost, Gary (1988). Beyond Style: Mastering the Finer Points of Writing. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. 
  • Rozelle, Ron (2005). Write Great Fiction: Description & Setting. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. 
  • Selgin, Peter (2007). By Cunning & Craft: Sound Advice and Practical Wisdom for Fiction Writers. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. 
  • (1992) The Writer's Digest Handbook of Novel Writing. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. 

Note

  1. ^ counting a page roughly as 200 words.
  2. ^ a professional writer usually writes an average of 500-1000 words per day. Stephen King stated he writes an average of 2000 words per day, every day.

Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of over 200 stories including over 50 bestselling horror novels. ...

See also

Look up fiction in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Fiction. Bartleby.com (1174 words)
The basis for the 1935 Hitchcock film, this engaging mystery novel is filled with intrigue and suspense.
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The rise and fall of three generations of a successful and socially connected family in the face of a changing America.
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