Fiction

Fiction

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Encyclopedia
Fiction is the form of any narrative
Narrative
A narrative is a constructive format that describes a sequence of non-fictional or fictional events. The word derives from the Latin verb narrare, "to recount", and is related to the adjective gnarus, "knowing" or "skilled"...

 or informative
Report
A report is a textual work made with the specific intention of relaying information or recounting certain events in a widely presentable form....

 work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary—that is, invented by the author
Author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, it may also refer to theatrical
Theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

, cinematic
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 or musical work
Song
In music, a song is a composition for voice or voices, performed by singing.A song may be accompanied by musical instruments, or it may be unaccompanied, as in the case of a cappella songs...

. Fiction contrasts with non-fiction
Non-fiction
Non-fiction is the form of any narrative, account, or other communicative work whose assertions and descriptions are understood to be fact...

, which deals exclusively with factual (or, at least, assumed factual) events, descriptions, observations, etc. (e.g. biographies
Biography
A biography is a detailed description or account of someone's life. More than a list of basic facts , biography also portrays the subject's experience of those events...

, histories
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

).

Realistic Fiction


Realistic fiction, although untrue, could actually happen.
Some events, people, and places may even be real. This is termed 'Faction'.

It can be possible that in the future imagined events could physically happen. For example, Jules Verne's novel From The Earth To The Moon
From the Earth to the Moon
From the Earth to the Moon is a humorous science fantasy novel by Jules Verne and is one of the earliest entries in that genre. It tells the story of the president of a post-American Civil War gun club in Baltimore, his rival, a Philadelphia maker of armor, and a Frenchman, who build an enormous...

, which at that time was just a product of his rich imagination, was proven possible in 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the Moon, and the team returned safely to Earth.

Realist fiction appears to the reader to be something that is actually happening.

Non-realistic Fiction


Non-realistic fiction is that in which the story's events could not happen in real life, because they are supernatural, or involve an alternate form of history of mankind other than that recorded, or need impossible technology. A good deal of fiction books are like this, e.g. Alice In Wonderland and Harry Potter
Harry Potter
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...

.

Semi-fiction


Semi-fiction is fiction implementing a great deal of non-fiction, for example: a fictional depiction "based on a true story
Based on a True Story
-Credits:*Max Bemis – background vocals on "Ready"*David Gold – viola*Mike Golla – guitar, percussion, celeste*Tom Gryskiewicz – drums, percussion*Taguchi Hiroka – violin*Amy Kimbal – violin*Benjy King – Hammond B3...

", or a fictionalized account, or a reconstructed biography.

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."
  • "A charged image evokes all the other elements of your story—theme, character, conflict, setting, style, and so on."
  • "For writers, the spices you add to make your plot your own include characters, setting, and dialogue."
  • "Contained within the framework of a story are the major story elements: characters, action, and conflict."
  • " . . . I think point of view is one of the most fundamental elements of the fiction-writing craft . . . ."


As stated by Janet Evanovich, "Effective writing requires an understanding of the fundamental elements of storytelling, such as point of view, dialogue, and setting." The debate continues as to the number and composition of the fundamental elements of fiction.

Plot


Plot, is what the character(s) did, said, and thought. It is the Action Proper given unity by the Enveloping Action, the Universal Action, the Archetypal Action. As Aristotle said, What gives a story unity is not as the masses believe that it is about one person but that it is about one action. 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 summary. A scene
Scene (fiction)
In fiction, a scene is a unit of drama. A sequel is what follows; an aftermath. Together, scene and sequel provide the building blocks of plot for short stories, novels, and other forms of fiction.-Characteristics of a scene:...

 is a unit of drama—where the action occurs. Then, after a transition of some sort, comes the summary—an emotional reaction and regrouping, an aftermath. For a delightful tongue-in-cheek comment on plot, see Katherine Anne Porter's "No Plot, My Dear, No Story" in The Occasional Writings and Collected Essays of Katherine Anne Porter, Seymour Lawrence, 1970.

Exposition
Exposition (literary technique)
At the beginning of a narrative, the exposition is the author's providing of some background information to the audience about the plot, characters' histories, setting, and theme. Exposition is considered one of four rhetorical modes of discourse, along with argumentation, description, and narration...

 


Exposition refers to a fiction story's initial setup, where, variably, setting is established, characters are introduced, and conflict is initiated. For example:

It was a dark and stormy night. The young widow glared at the shadowy man dripping on her kitchen floor. "I told you my husband's not home," she said.

He smiled a rictus smile and shut the door behind him. "Tell me something I don't know."

Foreshadowing
Foreshadowing
Foreshadowing or adumbrating is a literary device in which an author indistinctly suggests certain plot developments that might come later in the story.-Repetitive designation and Chekhov's gun:...

 


Foreshadowing is a technique
Literary technique
A literary technique is any element or the entirety of elements a writer intentionally uses in the structure of their work...

 used by authors to provide clues for the reader to be able to predict what might occur later in the story. In other words, it is a technique in which an author
Author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...

 drops subtle hints about plot developments to come later in the story
Narrative
A narrative is a constructive format that describes a sequence of non-fictional or fictional events. The word derives from the Latin verb narrare, "to recount", and is related to the adjective gnarus, "knowing" or "skilled"...

. It prepares the reader for later action and subsequent images so that the reader or spectator is not jarred and verisimilitude is maintained even in science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, and other genres that might otherwise test credulity. If such preparation is recognized as such by the reader or spectator, it may fail to be effective and seem artificial.

Rising action 


The Rising action, in the narrative
Narratology
Narratology denotes both the theory and the study of narrative and narrative structure and the ways that these affect our perception. While in principle the word may refer to any systematic study of narrative, in practice its usage is rather more restricted. It is an anglicisation of French...

 of a work of fiction, follows the exposition
Exposition (literary technique)
At the beginning of a narrative, the exposition is the author's providing of some background information to the audience about the plot, characters' histories, setting, and theme. Exposition is considered one of four rhetorical modes of discourse, along with argumentation, description, and narration...

 and leads up to the climax
Climax (narrative)
The Climax is the point in the story where the main character's point of view changes, or the most exciting/action filled part of the story. It also known has the main turning point in the story...

. The rising action's purpose is usually to build suspense all the way up the climactic finish. The rising action should not be confused with the middle of the story, but is the action right before the climax. The material beyond the climax is known as the falling action.

Climax
Climax
- Common general uses :* Climax * Climax * Climax community* Climax vegetation in an ecosystem* Sexual climax, another term for orgasm- Brand names and titles :* The Climax, a 1944 film...

 


In a work of fiction, the climax often resembles that of the classical comedy, occurring near the end of the text or performance, after the rising action and before the falling action. It is the moment of greatest danger for the protagonist
Protagonist
A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...

(s) and usually consists of a seemingly inevitable prospect of failure- it surprises you to the point that gets you excited to see what is to come in the end.

A climax often includes three elements. The most important element is that the protagonist experiences a change. The main character discovers something about himself or herself, and another unknown character. The last element is revealing the theme itself.

Falling action 


The Falling action is the part of a story, usually found in tragedies
Tragedy
Tragedy is a form of art based on human suffering that offers its audience pleasure. While most cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, tragedy refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of...

 and short stories
Short story
A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in narrative format. This format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas and novels. Short story definitions based on length differ somewhat, even among professional writers, in part because...

, following the climax
Climax (narrative)
The Climax is the point in the story where the main character's point of view changes, or the most exciting/action filled part of the story. It also known has the main turning point in the story...

 and showing the effects of the climax. It leads up to the denouement (or catastrophe
Catastrophe (drama)
In drama, particularly the tragedies of classical antiquity, the catastrophe is the final resolution in a poem or narrative plot, which unravels the intrigue and brings the piece to a close. In comedies, this may be a marriage between main characters; in tragedies, it may be the death of one or...

). Where the story is settling down and you start to get the climax and where it might be resolved.

Resolution 


Resolution occurs after the climax, where the conflict is resolved. It may contain a moment of final suspense, during which the final outcome of the conflict is in doubt.

Conflict
Conflict (narrative)
In literature, Conflict is the inherent incompatibility between the objectives of two or more characters or forces. By its nature, conflict is unstable. One side must always win out in the end...

 


Conflict is a necessary element of fictional literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

. As Brooks and Warren said in Understanding Fiction and as many others have noted, no conflict, no story. Often it is difficult for readers to discern conflict in sophisticated fiction but its locus is always focused on the protagonist. In order for the story to engage the reader or spectator, the conflict can usually be discerned as immediate, urgent, and insoluble. Furthermore, the conflict that is one between good and evil depends upon whether the reader or spectator prefers good or evil and is thus a slight story at best. It is defined as the problem in any piece of literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 and is often classified according to the nature of the protagonist
Protagonist
A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...

 or antagonist
Antagonist
An antagonist is a character, group of characters, or institution, that represents the opposition against which the protagonist must contend...

, as follows:

Types of conflict


There are five basic types of conflict. In ancient cultures Person vs. Fate often constitute the conflict of the story; however, so many people today believe they are in charge of their own destiny that few stories of this ilk can be found. In modern times, Person vs. Machine, also known as Person vs. Technology, has become another one.
Person vs. Self

Person vs. Self is the theme
Theme (literature)
A theme is a broad, message, or moral of a story. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. Along with plot, character,...

 in literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 that places a character
Fictional character
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

 against their own will
Will (philosophy)
Will, in philosophical discussions, consonant with a common English usage, refers to a property of the mind, and an attribute of acts intentionally performed. Actions made according to a person's will are called "willing" or "voluntary" and sometimes pejoratively "willful"...

, confusion
ConFusion
ConFusion is an annual science fiction convention organized by the Stilyagi Air Corps and its parent organization, the Ann Arbor Science Fiction Association. Commonly, it is held the third weekend of January. It is the oldest science fiction convention in Michigan, a regional, general SF con...

, or fear
Fear
Fear is a distressing negative sensation induced by a perceived threat. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger...

s. Person vs. Self can also be where a character tries to find out who they are or comes to a realization or a change in character. Although the struggle is internal, the character can be influenced by external forces. The struggle of the human being to come to a decision is the basis of Person vs. Self. Examples include the titular character of Beowulf
Beowulf
Beowulf , but modern scholars agree in naming it after the hero whose life is its subject." of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature.It survives in a single...

. More recently, the Academy Award
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 winning movie A Beautiful Mind
A Beautiful Mind (film)
A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard and written by Akiva Goldsman. It was inspired by a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-nominated 1998 book of the same name by Sylvia Nasar...

has been posited as an application of Person vs. Self. Faulkner in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech noted that the great stories are those of the human heart in conflict with itself. With that in mind the other conflicts enumerated here can fade into the background as part of the setting rather than the conflict-in-itself of any given story. A simple, ready example may be Jack London's "To Build a Fire" wherein we can see that the conflict is not Man vs. Nature but Man vs. His Own Nature.
Person vs. Person

Person vs. Person is a theme
Theme (literature)
A theme is a broad, message, or moral of a story. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. Along with plot, character,...

 in literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 in which the main character's conflict
Conflict (narrative)
In literature, Conflict is the inherent incompatibility between the objectives of two or more characters or forces. By its nature, conflict is unstable. One side must always win out in the end...

 with another person is the focus of the story. An example is the hero's conflicts with the central villain of a work, which may play a large role in the plot and contribute to the development of both characters. There are usually several confrontations before the climax is reached. The conflict is external. An example is the conflict between Judah and Messala in Ben-Hur, as would be the conflict between a bully and his victim.
Person vs. Society

Person vs. Society is a theme
Theme (literature)
A theme is a broad, message, or moral of a story. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. Along with plot, character,...

  in fiction in which a main character's, or group of main characters', main source of conflict is social tradition
Social conditioning
Social conditioning refers to the sociological process of training individuals in a society to act or respond in a manner generally approved by the society in general and peer groups within society. The concept is stronger than that of socialization, which refers to the process of inheriting norms,...

s or concepts. In this sense, the two parties are: a) the protagonist(s); b) the society of which the protagonist(s) are included. Society itself is often looked at as a single character, just as an opposing party would be looked at in a Person vs. Person conflict.This can also be one protagonist against a group or society of antagonists or society led by some antagonistic force. An example in literature would be Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights is a novel by Emily Brontë published in 1847. It was her only novel and written between December 1845 and July 1846. It remained unpublished until July 1847 and was not printed until December after the success of her sister Charlotte Brontë's novel Jane Eyre...

by Emily Brontë
Emily Brontë
Emily Jane Brontë 30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848) was an English novelist and poet, best remembered for her only novel, Wuthering Heights, now considered a classic of English literature. Emily was the third eldest of the four surviving Brontë siblings, between the youngest Anne and her brother...

.
Person vs. Nature

Person vs. Nature is the theme
Theme (literature)
A theme is a broad, message, or moral of a story. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. Along with plot, character,...

 in literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 that places a character
Fictional character
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

 against forces of nature. Many disaster film
Disaster film
A disaster film is a film genre that has an impending or ongoing disaster as its subject...

s focus on this theme, which is predominant within many survival stories. It is also strong in stories about struggling for survival in remote locales, such as Gary Paulson's Hatchet
Hatchet (novel)
Hatchet is a 1987 three-time Newbery Honor-winning wilderness survival novel written by Gary Paulsen. It is the first novel in the Hatchet series and is followed by four sequels....

or Jack London
Jack London
John Griffith "Jack" London was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone...

's short story "To Build a Fire
To Build a Fire
"To Build a Fire" is a short story by American author Jack London. The famous version of this story was published in 1908. London published an earlier and radically different version in 1902 in which the protagonist survives his ordeal, and a comparison of the two provides a dramatic illustration...

".
Person vs. Supernatural

Person vs. Supernatural is a theme
Theme (literature)
A theme is a broad, message, or moral of a story. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. Along with plot, character,...

 in literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 that places a character
Fictional character
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

 against supernatural
Supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

 forces. When an entity is in conflict with him-, her-, or itself, the conflict is categorized as internal, otherwise, it is external. Such stories are often seen in Freudian Criticism
Psychoanalytic literary criticism
Psychoanalytic literary criticism refers to literary criticism or literary theory which, in method, concept, or form, is influenced by the tradition of psychoanalysis begun by Sigmund Freud....

 as representations of id vs. superego
Id, ego, and super-ego
Id, ego and super-ego are the three parts of the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freud's structural model of the psyche; they are the three theoretical constructs in terms of whose activity and interaction mental life is described...

. Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker
Abraham "Bram" Stoker was an Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula...

's Dracula
Dracula
Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker.Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor...

is a good example of this, as well as Frankenstein
Frankenstein
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel about a failed experiment that produced a monster, written by Mary Shelley, with inserts of poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. The first...

by Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus . She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley...

 and Christabel by Samuel Coleridge. It is also very common in comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

s.
Person vs. Machine/Technology

Person vs. Machine/Technology places a character against robot forces with "artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its...

". I, Robot
I, Robot (film)
I, Robot is a 2004 science-fiction action film directed by Alex Proyas. The screenplay was written by Jeff Vintar, Akiva Goldsman and Hillary Seitz, and is very loosely based on Isaac Asimov's short-story collection of the same name. Will Smith stars in the lead role of the film as Detective Del...

(the film) and the Terminator
Terminator (franchise)
The Terminator series is a science fiction franchise encompassing a series of films and other media concerning battles between Skynet's artificially intelligent machine network, and John Connor's Resistance forces and the rest of the human race....

series are good examples of this conflict.

Character


Characterization is often listed as one of the fundamental elements of fiction. A character
Fictional character
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

is a participant in the story, and is usually a person, but may be any personal identity, or entity whose existence originates from a fictional work or performance.

Characters may be of several types:
  • Point-of-view
    Point of view (literature)
    The narrative mode is the set of methods the author of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical story uses to convey the plot to the audience. Narration, the process of presenting the narrative, occurs because of the narrative mode...

     character
    : The character from whose perspective (theme) the audience experiences the story. This is the character that represents the point of view the audience will empathise, or at the very least, sympathise with. Therefore this is the "Main" Character.
  • Protagonist
    Protagonist
    A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...

    : The driver of the action of the story and therefore responsible for achieving the story's Objective Story Goal (the surface journey). In western storytelling tradition the Protagonist is usually the Main Character.
  • Antagonist
    Antagonist
    An antagonist is a character, group of characters, or institution, that represents the opposition against which the protagonist must contend...

    : The character that stands in opposition to the protagonist.
  • Static character: A character who does not significantly change during the course of a story.
  • Dynamic character: A character who undergoes character development during the course of a story.
  • Foil
    Foil (literature)
    In fiction, a foil is a character who contrasts with another character in order to highlight particular qualities of another character....

    : The character that contrasts to the protagonist in a way that illuminates their personality or characteristic.
  • Supporting character
    Supporting character
    A supporting character is a character of a book, play, video game, movie, television or radio show or other form of storytelling usually used to give added dimension to a main character, by adding a relationship with this character...

    : A character that plays a part in the plot, but is not major
  • Minor character: A character in a bit/cameo
    Cameo appearance
    A cameo role or cameo appearance is a brief appearance of a known person in a work of the performing arts, such as plays, films, video games and television...

     part.

Methods of developing characters

  • Appearance
    Human physical appearance
    Human physical appearance refers to the outward phenotype or look of human beings. There are infinite variations in human phenotypes, though society reduces the variability to distinct categories...

    : explains or describes the character's outward appearance for the readers to be able to identify them
  • Dialogue
    Dialogue
    Dialogue is a literary and theatrical form consisting of a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people....

    : what they say and how they say it
  • Action
    Action (literature)
    In literature, action is the principle subject or story. This is as distinguished from an incidental episode. In other words, action is what a character does in a play, short story, or a fiction prose...

    : what the character does and how he/she does it
  • Reaction of others: how other characters see and treat him/her

Symbolism
Symbolism (arts)
Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French, Russian and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts. In literature, the style had its beginnings with the publication Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire...

 


Symbolism is the applied use of symbol
Symbol
A symbol is something which represents an idea, a physical entity or a process but is distinct from it. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning. For example, a red octagon may be a symbol for "STOP". On a map, a picture of a tent might represent a campsite. Numerals are symbols for...

s: iconic representations that carry particular conventional meanings.

The term "symbolism" is limited to use in contrast to "representationalism"; defining the general directions of a linear spectrum
Spectrum (disambiguation)
A spectrum is a condition or value that is not limited to a specific set of values but can vary infinitely within a continuum.Spectrum may also refer to:-Physical science:* Electromagnetic spectrum...

 – where in all symbolic concepts can be viewed in relation, and where changes in context may imply systemic changes to individual and collective definitions of symbols. "Symbolism" may refer to a way of choosing representative symbols in line with abstract rather than literal properties
Property
Property is any physical or intangible entity that is owned by a person or jointly by a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation...

, allowing for the broader interpretation of a carried meaning
Meaning (semiotics)
In semiotics, the meaning of a sign is its place in a sign relation, in other words, the set of roles that it occupies within a given sign relation. This statement holds whether sign is taken to mean a sign type or a sign token...

 than more literal concept-representations allow. A religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 can be described as a language of concepts related to human spirituality
Spirituality
Spirituality can refer to an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live.” Spiritual practices, including meditation, prayer and contemplation, are intended to develop...

. Symbolism hence is an important aspect of most religions
Religious symbolism
Religious symbolism is the use of symbols, including archetypes, acts, artwork, events, or natural phenomena, by a religion. Religions view religious texts, rituals, and works of art as symbols of compelling ideas or ideals...

.

The interpretation of abstract symbols has had an important role in religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 and psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

. As envisioned by Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 and Carl Jung
Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of Analytical Psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration. Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and...

, symbols are not the creations of mind, but rather are distinct capacities within the mind to hold a distinct piece of information. In the mind, the symbol can find free association with any number of other symbols, can be organized in any number of ways, and can hold the connected meanings between symbols as symbols in themselves. Jung and Freud diverged on the issue of common cognitive symbol systems and whether they could exist only within the individual mind or among other minds; whether any cognitive symbolism was defined by innate symbolism or by the influence of the environment around them.

Metaphor
Metaphor
A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels." Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via...

 


Metaphor (from the Greek language
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

: Meaning "transfer") is language that directly compares seemingly unrelated subjects. It is a figure of speech that compares two or more things not using like or as. In the simplest case, this takes the form: "The [first subject] is a [second subject]." More generally, a metaphor is a rhetoric
Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

al trope that describes a first subject as being or equal to a second object in some way. Thus, the first subject can be economically described because implicit and explicit attributes from the second subject are used to enhance the description of the first. This device is known for usage in literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, especially in poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

, where with few words, emotions and associations from one context are associated with objects and entities in a different context. A simpler definition is the comparison of two unrelated things without using the words "like" or "as".

The term derives from Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 μεταφορά (metaphora), or "transference", from μεταφέρω (metaphero) "to carry over, to transfer" and that from μετά (meta), "between" + φέρω (phero), "to bear, to carry".

Chronological order 


All of the events occur in the order in which they happened in writing. There may be references to events from the past or future, however the events are written in time order. There will not be flashbacks/flash forwards.

Flashback
Flashback (narrative)
Flashback is an interjected scene that takes the narrative back in time from the current point the story has reached. Flashbacks are often used to recount events that happened before the story’s primary sequence of events or to fill in crucial backstory...

 


In history, film, television and other media, a flashback (also called analepsis) is an interjected scene
Scene (fiction)
In fiction, a scene is a unit of drama. A sequel is what follows; an aftermath. Together, scene and sequel provide the building blocks of plot for short stories, novels, and other forms of fiction.-Characteristics of a scene:...

 that takes the narrative back in time from the current point the story has reached. Flashbacks are often used to recount events that happened prior to the story's primary sequence of events or to fill in crucial backstory. Character origin flashbacks specifically refers to flashbacks dealing with key events early in a character's development (Clark Kent
Superman
Superman is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in publications by DC Comics, widely considered to be an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1932 while both were living in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold to Detective...

 discovering he could fly, for example, or the Elric brothers'
Fullmetal Alchemist
, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa. The world of Fullmetal Alchemist is styled after the European Industrial Revolution...

 attempt to bring back their mother). The television show Lost
Lost (TV series)
Lost is an American television series that originally aired on ABC from September 22, 2004 to May 23, 2010, consisting of six seasons. Lost is a drama series that follows the survivors of the crash of a commercial passenger jet flying between Sydney and Los Angeles, on a mysterious tropical island...

 is particularly well known for extensive use of flashbacks in almost every episode. In the opposite direction, a flashforward
Flashforward
A flashforward is an interjected scene that takes the narrative forward in time from the current point of the story in literature, film, television and other media. Flashforwards are often used to represent events expected, projected, or imagined to occur in the future...

 (or prolepsis) reveals events that will occur in the future. The technique is used to create suspense in a story, or develop a character. In literature, internal analepsis is a flashback to an earlier point in the narrative; external analepsis is a flashback to before the narrative started.

Setting
Setting (fiction)
In fiction, setting includes the time, location, and everything in which a story takes place, and initiates the main backdrop and mood for a story. Setting has been referred to as story world or milieu to include a context beyond the immediate surroundings of the story. Elements of setting may...

 


Setting
Setting (fiction)
In fiction, setting includes the time, location, and everything in which a story takes place, and initiates the main backdrop and mood for a story. Setting has been referred to as story world or milieu to include a context beyond the immediate surroundings of the story. Elements of setting may...

, the location 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.

Theme
Theme (literature)
A theme is a broad, message, or moral of a story. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. Along with plot, character,...

 


Theme
Theme (literature)
A theme is a broad, message, or moral of a story. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. Along with plot, character,...

, 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 and is an answer to the question, 'What did you learn from the piece of fiction?' In some cases a story's theme is a prominent element and somewhat unmistakable.

Style
Style (fiction)
In fiction, style is the manner in which the author tells the story. Along with plot, character, theme, and setting, style is considered one of the fundamental components of fiction.-Fiction-writing modes:...

 


Style is not so much what is written, but how it is written and interpreted. Style
Style (fiction)
In fiction, style is the manner in which the author tells the story. Along with plot, character, theme, and setting, style is considered one of the fundamental components of fiction.-Fiction-writing modes:...

 in fiction refers to language conventions used to construct the story or article. A fiction writer may manipulate diction, sentence structure, phrasing, dialogue, and other aspects of language to create style or mood. The communicative effect created by the author's style is sometimes referred to as the story's voice. Every writer has his or her own unique style, or voice . Style is sometimes listed as one of the fundamental elements of fiction.

Writer Philip Roth
Philip Roth
Philip Milton Roth is an American novelist. He gained fame with the 1959 novella Goodbye, Columbus, an irreverent and humorous portrait of Jewish-American life that earned him a National Book Award...

 defined the "sensuous aspects of fiction" as "tone, mood, voice, and, among other things, the juxtaposition of the narrative events themselves".

Types of mythic fantasy


Genre Fantasy, based on the use of mythologies of the peoples of the world [9]. On the basis of mythological distinction: Fantasy on the western mythology [10], a fantasy on the German-Scandinavian mythology (Elizabeth Dvoretskaya ship in the fjord), Fantasy on Celtic mythology (the works about the Holy Grail), a fantasy on Slavic mythology [11] Fantasy on Russian mythology [12], a fantasy on the eastern mythology [13] Fantasy on Japanese mythology [14], in African mythology fantasy ("In the thinking kingdoms" Alan Foster "On Stranger Tides" by Tim Powers, "Children of Anansi," Neil Gaiman), fantasy in Indian mythology (Andre Norton), a fantasy on the mythology of Australian aborigines (Patricia Wrightson) [15], a fantasy on the mythology of Oceania (Michael Scott Rohan), Fantasy on Eskimo mythology (by Larry Niven, Steven Barnes Barsoom Project), a fantasy for a few mythologies (" American Gods "Neil Gaiman), fantasy author on mythology (a series of Middle Earth JRR Tolkien, John, Katherine Kurtz Chronicles Derin, Ursula Le Guin Earthsea, Dune, Frank Herbert), a fantasy on the technological mythology (" We live here, "Cycle of the Abyss hungry Eye, Henry Lion Oldie) and other

Categories


Types of prose fiction:
  • Flash fiction
    Flash fiction
    Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity. There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category...

    : A work of fewer than 2,000 words. (1,000 by some definitions) (around 5 pages)
  • Short story
    Short story
    A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in narrative format. This format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas and novels. Short story definitions based on length differ somewhat, even among professional writers, in part because...

    : A work of at least 2,000 words but under 7,500 words. (5–25 pages)
  • Novelette
    Novelette
    A novelette is a piece of short prose fiction. The distinction between a novelette and other literary forms is usually based upon word count, with a novelette being longer than a short story, but shorter than a novella...

    : A work of at least 7,500 words but under 17,500 words. (25–60 pages)
  • Novella
    Novella
    A novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative usually longer than a novelette but shorter than a novel. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards for science fiction define the novella as having a word count between 17,500 and 40,000...

    : A work of at least 17,500 words but under 50,000 words. (60–170 pages)
  • Novel
    Novel
    A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

    : A work of 50,000 words or more. (about 170+ pages)
  • Epic
    Epic poetry
    An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

    : A work of 200,000 words or more. (about 680+ pages)counting a page roughly as 300 words.a professional writer usually writes an average of 500–1000 words per day. Stephen King
    Stephen King
    Stephen Edwin King is an American author of contemporary horror, suspense, science fiction and fantasy fiction. His books have sold more than 350 million copies and have been adapted into a number of feature films, television movies and comic books...

     stated he writes an average of 2000 words per day, every day.



Forms of fiction


Traditionally, fiction includes novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

s, short stories
Short story
A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in narrative format. This format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas and novels. Short story definitions based on length differ somewhat, even among professional writers, in part because...

, fables, fairy tales, plays
Play (theatre)
A play is a form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of scripted dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference whether their plays were performed...

, poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

, but it now also encompasses films
Fictional film
Fictional film or narrative film is film that tells a fictional story or narrative. Narrative cinema is usually contrasted to films that present information, such as a nature documentary, as well as to some experimental films...

, comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

s, and video games.

The Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 has had a major impact on the distribution of fiction, calling into question the feasibility of copyright
Copyright
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time...

 as a means to ensure royalties
Royalties
Royalties are usage-based payments made by one party to another for the right to ongoing use of an asset, sometimes an intellectual property...

 are paid to copyright holders. Also, digital libraries such as Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks". Founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart, it is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books...

 make public domain
Public domain
Works are in the public domain if the intellectual property rights have expired, if the intellectual property rights are forfeited, or if they are not covered by intellectual property rights at all...

 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
Fan fiction
Fan fiction is a broadly-defined term for fan labor regarding stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator...

 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
Blog fiction
Blog fiction is a form of fiction writing that uses blogs to reach its readership. It is a small-scale fringe activity in the world of blogging, and although it has generated some literary critical interest, it remains isolated...

, where a story is delivered through a blog
Blog
A blog is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in...

 either as flash fiction or serialblog, and collaborative fiction
Collaborative fiction
Collaborative fiction is a form of writing by a group of authors who share creative control of a story.Collaborative fiction can occur for commercial gain, as part of education, or recreationally - many collaboratively written works have been the subject of a large degree of academic research.-...

, where a story is written sequentially by different authors, or the entire text can be revised by anyone using a wiki
Wiki
A wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor. Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used collaboratively by multiple users. Examples include...

.

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
School
A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools...

 textbooks. It may be used in propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 and advertising
Advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

. Although they are not necessarily targeted at children, fable
Fable
A fable is a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized , and that illustrates a moral lesson , which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a pithy maxim.A fable differs from...

s offer an explicit moral goal.

A whole branch of literature crossing entertainment and science speculation is Science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

. A less common similar cross is the philosophical fiction
Philosophical novel
Philosophical fiction refers to works of fiction in which a significant proportion of the work is devoted to a discussion of the sort of questions normally addressed in discursive philosophy. These might include the function and role of society, the purpose of life, ethics or morals, the role of...

 hybridizing fiction and philosophy, thereby often crossing the border towards propaganda fiction. These kinds of fictions constitute thought experiments exploring consequences of certain technologies or philosophies.

Semi-fiction


Semi-fiction spans stories that include a substantial amount of non-fiction. It may be the retelling of a true story with only the names changed. Often, however, even when the story is claimed to be true, there may be significant additions and subtractions from the true story in order to make it more suitable for storytelling.

The other way around, semi-fiction may also involve fictional events with a semi-fictional character. Semi-fiction, at last, relies on author's imagination or interests to fill the gaps between reality and the final story.

See also


Main list: Outline of fiction

  • Fictional character
    Fictional character
    A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

  • Fiction writing
    Fiction writing
    Fiction writing is any kind of writing that is not factual. Fictional writing most often takes the form of a story meant to convey an author's point of view or simply to entertain...

    • Fan fiction
      Fan fiction
      Fan fiction is a broadly-defined term for fan labor regarding stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator...

  • Pseudohistory
    Pseudohistory
    Pseudohistory is a pejorative term applied to a type of historical revisionism, often involving sensational claims whose acceptance would require rewriting a significant amount of commonly accepted history, and based on methods that depart from standard historiographical conventions.Cryptohistory...

  • Writing style
    Writing style
    Writing style is the manner in which an author chooses to write to his or her audience. A style reveals both the writer's personality and voice, but it also shows how she or he perceives the audience, and chooses conceptual writing style which reveal those choices by which the writer may change the...

  • Non-fiction
    Non-fiction
    Non-fiction is the form of any narrative, account, or other communicative work whose assertions and descriptions are understood to be fact...

  • Paranoid fiction
    Paranoid fiction
    Paranoid fiction is a term sometimes used to describe works of literature that explores the subjective nature of reality and how it can be manipulated by forces in power...

  • History of fiction
  • Creative nonfiction
    Creative nonfiction
    Creative nonfiction is a genre of writing that uses literary styles and techniques to create factually accurate narratives. Creative nonfiction contrasts with other nonfiction, such as technical writing or journalism, which is also rooted in accurate fact, but is not primarily written in service...