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Fiction writing

Fiction writing

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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. The result of this may be a 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...

, 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....

, 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...

, screenplay
Screenplay
A screenplay or script is a written work that is made especially for a film or television program. Screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing. In them, the movement, actions, expression, and dialogues of the characters are also narrated...

, or drama
Drama
Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance. The term comes from a Greek word meaning "action" , which is derived from "to do","to act" . The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a...

, which are all types (though not the only types) of fictional writing styles.

Elements of fiction


Just as a painter
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 uses color
Color
Color or colour is the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, green, blue and others. Color derives from the spectrum of light interacting in the eye with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors...

 and line to create a painting, an author uses the elements of fiction to create a 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"...

:

The elements of fiction are: character, plot, setting, theme, and style. Of these five elements, character is the who, plot is the what, setting is the where and when, and style is the how of a story.

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 any person, persona, identity, or entity whose existence originates from a fictional work or performance.

A plot, or storyline, is the rendering and ordering of the events and actions of a story, particularly towards the achievement of some particular artistic or emotional effect.

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...

is the time and location in which a story takes place.

Theme is the broad idea, message, or lesson of a story.

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:...

includes the multitude of choices fiction writers make, consciously or subconsciously, as they create a story. They encompass the big-picture, strategic choices such as point of view and narrator, but they also include the nitty-gritty, tactical choices of grammar, punctuation, word usage, sentence and paragraph length and structure, tone, the use of imagery, chapter selection, titles, and on and on. In the process of writing a story, these choices meld to become the writer's voice, his or her own unique style.

Character


Characterization is one of the five elements of fiction, along with plot, setting, theme, and writing style. 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 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 by whom the story is viewed. The point-of-view character may or may not also be the main character in the story.
  • 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 main character of a story
  • Antagonist
    Antagonist
    An antagonist is a character, group of characters, or institution, that represents the opposition against which the protagonist must contend...

    : the character who stands in opposition to the protagonist
  • Minor character: a character that interacts with the protagonist. They help the story move along.
  • Foil character
    Foil (literature)
    In fiction, a foil is a character who contrasts with another character in order to highlight particular qualities of another character....

    : a (minor) character who has traits in aversion to the main character

Plot


The plot, or storyline, 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. *Freytag's Pyramid is also another way to represent action in a novel.

The climax of the novel consists of a single action-packed sentence in which the conflict (problem) of the novel is resolved. This sentence comes towards the end of the novel. The main part of the action should come before the climax.

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.

Setting


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...

is the locale and time of a story. The setting is often a real place, but may be a fictitious city or country within our own world; a different planet; or an alternate universe, which may or may not have similarities with our own universe. Sometimes setting is referred to as milieu
Milieu
Milieu is the word for environment in French, and, for hundreds of years, also in Dutch, Swedish, English, and other languages that were strongly influenced by French culture and French language, primarily during the 17th and 18th centuries....

, to include a context (such as society) beyond the immediate surroundings of the story.

Theme


Theme is what the author is trying to tell the reader. For example, the belief in the ultimate good in people, or that things are not always what they seem. The moral of the story, if you will.

Style


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:...

 includes the multitude of choices fiction writers make, consciously or not, in the process of writing a story. It encompasses not only the big-picture, strategic choices such as point of view and choice of narrator, but also tactical choices of grammar, punctuation, word usage, sentence and paragraph length and structure, tone, the use of imagery, chapter selection, titles, etc. In the process of creating a story, these choices meld to become the writer's voice, his or her own unique style.

Components of style


For each piece of fiction, the author makes many choices, consciously or subconsciously, which combine to form the writer's unique style. The components of style are numerous, but include point of view, choice of narrator, fiction-writing mode, person and tense, grammar, punctuation, word usage, sentence length and structure, paragraph length and structure, tone, imagery, chapter usage, and title selection.

Narrator


The narrator is the teller of the story, the orator, doing the mouthwork, or its in-print equivalent.

Point of View


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...

is from whose consciousness the reader hears, sees, and feels the story.

Suspension of Disbelief


Suspension of disbelief
Suspension of disbelief
Suspension of disbelief or "willing suspension of disbelief" is a formula for justifying the use of fantastic or non-realistic elements in literary works of fiction...

is the reader's temporary acceptance of story elements as believable, regardless of how implausible they may seem in real life.

External links




See also

  • 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:...

  • Creative writing
    Creative writing
    Creative writing is considered to be any writing, fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, and technical forms of literature. Works which fall into this category include novels, epics, short stories, and poems...

  • 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...

  • Fiction
    Fiction
    Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative 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. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical,...

  • Figure of speech
    Figure of speech
    A figure of speech is the use of a word or words diverging from its usual meaning. It can also be a special repetition, arrangement or omission of words with literal meaning, or a phrase with a specialized meaning not based on the literal meaning of the words in it, as in idiom, metaphor, simile,...

  • 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:...

  • List of writers' conferences
  • Literary criticism
    Literary criticism
    Literary criticism is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals...

  • Literary festival
    Literary festival
    A literary festival, also known as a book festival or writers' festival, is a regular gathering of writers and readers, typically on an annual basis in a particular city...

  • Literary fiction
    Literary fiction
    Literary fiction is a term that came into common usage during the early 1960s. The term is principally used to distinguish "serious fiction" which is a work that claims to hold literary merit, in comparison from genre fiction and popular fiction . In broad terms, literary fiction focuses more upon...

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

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

  • Narratology
    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...

  • Show, don't tell
    Show, don't tell
    This page is about the composition principle. For the Rush song, see Show Don't Tell Show, don't tell is an admonition to fiction writers to write in a manner that allows the reader to experience the story through a character's action, words, thoughts, senses, and feelings rather than through the...

  • Writer
    Writer
    A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

  • Writer's block
    Writer's block
    Writer's block is a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand. At the other extreme, some "blocked"...

  • 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...