Fiction B.A. English First Semester BBMKU

Fiction Definition: in this article, you will learn what is fiction, its elements and its types. This article is specially made for English honours students of BBMKU and VBU.

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Fiction Definition

Fiction is any work based on imagination rather than on fact. The term fiction comes from the “Latin” word “fictus” meaning “to form”. Actually fiction is one of the two branches of literature. When a writer imagines something creative or literative in their mind and then takes it to dawn on a paper, it is called fiction and the story or drama he has written would be called fictional work. However, in literature, Merriam Webster defines it as literature in the form of prose. There is a point to be noted that though fiction is an imaginative work but it also may be based on the story of actual historical events.

Elements of Fiction

There are many elements of fiction such as characterization, character, plot, point of view, setting, style, theme, tone, symbol etc. Each element of fiction is described bellow:

  • characterization: Characterization is a way through which writers introduce their characters by direct description, showing them in action or by the help of other characters who help to define each other.
  • character: A character can be define as any person or animal which are involved in the poetry. There are two major characters in a story: protagonist and antagonist. Protagonist is also known as the hero of the story and the antagonist is the one whose conflict with the protagonist or we can say that he is the villain of the story.
  • plot: plot can be define as a series of events that make up a story. It is one of the most essential elements of fiction. Plot has five terms such as exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and denaument.
  • point of view: point of view in fiction reffers to the narrater’s view of seeing the narrative. It is also can be define as who is telling or narrating the story. A story can be tell from first person point of view, second person point of view or third person point of view.
  • setting: setting is one of the most important elements of fiction. It reffers to the place and time in which the events of the story occur. In other words it can be define as the time and the place in which the story’s events take place.
  • style: style reffers to the way of writing or composing a story of writer or author. Or in other words it can be define as the choice of words and arranging them in a sentence is called style.
  • theme: them is the base of any story. It reffers to the centeral idea of a narrative. A theme can be based on friendship, love, phobia, devotion etc. A theme can be the based on the fight between good and evil, how greed leads to downfall ect.
  • tone: tone is a literary term which is used in narrative as an element. It reffers to the author’s attitude towards his work.
  • symbol: symbol is a literary device which is used to represent other things by the help of something else. It is used to make a literary work more attractive.

Types of Fiction

There are many kinds of fiction such as gothic novels, epistolary novel, detective novel, novel, novellas, picaresque novels, psychological novels, regional novel, romance novel, science fiction, short story etc. Each type are defined below:

  • gothic novel: gothic novel is the sub- genre of novel. It is one of the most popular form of fiction. The major themes that are used in gothic novel are fear, death, gloom etc. It contains some romantic elements as well. The Moonstone by Walkie Collins is an example of gothic novel.
  • epistolary novel: an epistolary novel is a type of fiction which is written in the form of documentation. It is also a sub genre of novel fiction.
  • detective novel: detective novel reffers to the novels in which a crime happens and then the detective is called up to find out the truth and the criminal as well. The detective discovers the truth and then make the criminal punish.
  • novel: novel is one of the most popular type of fiction. It is a long narrative work which is generally published as a book. The gift of cow by Munshi Premchand (Tr. By Jai Ratan and P Lal) is an example of novel.
  • novella: novella is also considered as a sub genre of novel. It is similar to novel but shorter in length. Novellas are longer than a short story and shorter than a novel.
  • picaresque novel: A picaresque novel reffers to the novels which are based on the story of some men or women who keeps moving from one place to another.
  • psychological novel: the novels which are related to human mind or psychology is called psychological novel. It is considered a genre of fiction and the sub genre of novel.
  • regional novel: regional novel reffers to the which are based on a specific region. In such kind of novel the author picks up a specific region and writes a narrative on it. It is also considered a subgenre of novel.
  • romance novel: it reffers to the novel which are made up with the romantic elements. It is one of the most popular form of fiction.
  • science fiction: science fiction reffers to the novels which are based on the theme of paralel universe, aliens, space, teleportation and such others. The time machine by H. G. Whells is an example of science fiction.
  • short story: a short story is meant to be read in a one sitting. As it is short story so their are less elements such as character, setting, theme and plot. Short stories are written to entertain but sometimes it brings moral message. The Necklace, Two Little Soldiers, Boule de Suif, Two Friends by Guy de Maupassant are some famous examples of short story.

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