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FICTION is the classification for any story or setting that is imaginary —in other words, not based strictly on history or fact. Fiction can be expressed in a variety of formats, including writings , live performances , films , television programs , animations , video games , and role-playing games , though the term originally and most commonly refers to the narrative forms of literature (see _literary_ fiction ), including novels , novellas , short stories , and plays . Fiction is occasionally used in its narrowest sense to mean simply any "literary narrative".

A work of fiction is an act of creative imagination, so its total faithfulness to reality is not typically assumed by its audience. Therefore, fiction is not expected to present only characters who are actual people or descriptions that are factually accurate. Instead, the context of fiction, not adhering precisely to the real world, is generally open to interpretation . Characters and events within a fictional work may even be openly set in their own context entirely separate from the known universe: a fictional universe that stands on its own. Fiction is regarded as the traditional opposite of non-fiction , whose creators assume responsibility for presenting only the historical and factual truth; however, the distinction between fiction and non-fiction can be blurred, for example, in postmodern literature .

CONTENTS

* 1 Formats * 2 Genre fiction * 3 Literary fiction * 4 Realism * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 References * 8 Bibliography * 9 External links

FORMATS

See also: List of fictional genres

Traditionally, fiction includes novels , short stories , fables , legends , myths , fairy tales , epic and narrative poetry , plays (including operas , musicals , dramas , puppet plays , and various kinds of theatrical dances ). However, fiction may also encompass comic books , and many animated cartoons , stop motions , anime , manga , films , video games , radio programs , television programs (comedies and dramas ), etc.

The Internet has had a major impact on the creation and distribution of fiction, calling into question the feasibility of copyright as a means to ensure royalties are paid to copyright holders. Also, digital libraries such as Project Gutenberg make public domain texts more readily available. The combination of inexpensive home computers, the Internet and the creativity of its users has also led to new forms of fiction, such as interactive computer games or computer-generated comics. Countless forums for fan fiction can be found online, where loyal followers of specific fictional realms create and distribute derivative stories. The Internet is also used for the development of blog fiction , where a story is delivered through a blog either as flash fiction or serial blog , and collaborative fiction , where a story is written sequentially by different authors, or the entire text can be revised by anyone using a wiki .

Types of literary fiction in prose :

* Short story : A work of at least 2,000 words but under 7,500 words (5–25 pages). The boundary between a long short story and a novella is vague. * Novella : A work of at least 17,500 words but under 50,000 words (60–170 pages). Joseph Conrad 's _ Heart of Darkness _ (1899) is an example of a novella . * Novel : A work of 50,000 words or more (about 170+ pages).

GENRE FICTION

Main article: Genre fiction

Fiction is commonly broken down into a variety of genres : subsets of fiction, each differentiated by a particular unifying tone or style , narrative technique , media content , or popularly defined criterion. Science fiction , for example, predicts or supposes technologies that are not realities at the time of the work's creation. For example, Jules Verne 's novel _ From the Earth to the Moon _ was published in 1865 and only in 1969 did astronaut Neil Armstrong first land on the moon.

Historical fiction places imaginary characters into real historical events. In the early historical novel _Waverley _, Sir Walter Scott 's fictional character Edward Waverley meets a figure from history, Bonnie Prince Charlie , and takes part in the Battle of Prestonpans . Some works of fiction are slightly or greatly re-imagined based on some originally true story, or a reconstructed biography. Often, even when the author claims the fictional story is basically true, there may be artificial additions and subtractions from the true story to make it more interesting. One such example would be Tim O'Brien's _The Things They Carried _, a series of historical fiction short stories about the Vietnam War .

Fictional works that explicitly involve supernatural, magical, or scientifically impossible elements are often classified under the genre of fantasy , including Lewis Carroll 's _Alice In Wonderland _, J. K. Rowling 's _ Harry Potter _ series, and J. R. R. Tolkien 's _The Lord of the Rings _. Creators of fantasy sometimes introduce entire imaginary creatures or beings such as dragons and fairies.

LITERARY FICTION

Main article: Literature

Literary fiction is defined as fictional works that are deemed to be of literary merit , as distinguished from most commercial, or "genre" fiction . The distinction can be controversial among critics and scholars.

Neal Stephenson has suggested that while any definition will be simplistic there is today a general cultural difference between literary and genre fiction. On the one hand literary authors nowadays are frequently supported by patronage, with employment at a university or a similar institution, and with the continuation of such positions determined not by book sales but by critical acclaim by other established literary authors and critics. On the other hand, he suggests, genre fiction writers tend to support themselves by book sales. However, in an interview, John Updike lamented that "the category of 'literary fiction' has sprung up recently to torment people like me who just set out to write books, and if anybody wanted to read them, terrific, the more the merrier. ... I'm a genre writer of a sort. I write literary fiction, which is like spy fiction or chick lit". Likewise, on _ The Charlie Rose Show _, he argued that this term, when applied to his work, greatly limited him and his expectations of what might come of his writing, so he does not really like it. He suggested that all his works are literary, simply because "they are written in words".

Literary fiction often involves social commentary , political criticism , or reflection on the human condition . In general it focuses on "introspective, in-depth character studies" of "interesting, complex and developed" characters. This contrasts with genre fiction where plot is the central concern. Usually in literary fiction the focus is on the "inner story" of the characters who drive the plot, with detailed motivations to elicit "emotional involvement" in the reader. The style of literary fiction is often described as "elegantly written, lyrical, and ... layered". The tone of literary fiction can be darker than genre fiction, while the pacing of literary fiction may be slower than popular fiction. As Terrence Rafferty notes, "literary fiction, by its nature, allows itself to dawdle, to linger on stray beauties even at the risk of losing its way".

REALISM

See also Literary realism

Realistic fiction typically involves a story whose basic setting (time and location in the world) is real and whose events could feasibly happen in a real-world setting; non-realistic fiction involves a story where the opposite is the case, often being set in an entirely imaginary universe, an alternative history of the world other than that currently understood as true, or some other non-existent location or time-period, sometimes even presenting impossible technology or a defiance of the currently understood laws of nature. However, all types of fiction arguably invite their audience to explore real ideas, issues, or possibilities in an otherwise imaginary setting, or using what is understood about reality to mentally construct something similar to reality, though still distinct from it.

In terms of the traditional separation between fiction and non-fiction , the lines are now commonly understood as blurred, showing more overlap than mutual exclusion. Even fiction usually has elements of, or grounding in, truth. The distinction between the two may be best defined from the perspective of the audience, according to whom a work is regarded as non-fiction if its people, places, and events are all historically or factually real, while a work is regarded as fiction if it deviates from reality in any of those areas. The distinction between fiction and non-fiction is further obscured by an understanding, on the one hand, that the truth can be presented through imaginary channels and constructions, while, on the other hand, imagination can just as well bring about significant conclusions about truth and reality.

Literary critic James Wood , argues that "fiction is both artifice and verisimilitude ", meaning that it requires both creative invention as well as some acceptable degree of believability, a notion often encapsulated in poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge 's term: willing suspension of disbelief . Also, infinite fictional possibilities themselves signal the impossibility of fully knowing reality, provocatively demonstrating that there is no criterion to measure constructs of reality.

SEE ALSO

Main list: Outline of fiction

* Character (arts) * Fiction writing * Pseudohistory

NOTES

* ^ As philosopher Stacie Friend explains, "in reading we take works of fiction, like works of non-fiction, to be about the real world—even if they invite us to imagine the world to be different from how it actually is. , imagining a storyworld does not mean directing one's imagining toward something other than the real world; it is instead a mental activity that involves constructing a complex representation of what a story portrays" (Friend, S., "The Real Foundation of Fictional Worlds", _Australasian Journal of Philosophy_, forthcoming: ). * ^ The research of Weisberg and Goodstein (2009) — Weisberg, D.S. ">

* ^ "fiction." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. 2015. * ^ Sageng, Fossheim, & Larsen (eds.) (2012). _The Philosophy of Computer Games_. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 186-187. * ^ _A_ _B_ William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman _A Handbook to Literature_ (7th edition). New York: Prentice Hall, 1990, p. 212. * ^ "Definition of \'fiction\'." _Oxford English Dictionaries_ (online). Oxford University Press. 2015. * ^ M. H. Abrams, _A Glossary of Literary Terms_ (7th edition). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace, 1999, p. 94. * ^ Farner, Geir (2014). "Chapter 2: What is Literary Fiction?". _Literary Fiction: The Ways We Read Narrative Literature_. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. * ^ Culler, Jonathan (2000). _Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction_. Oxford University Press. p. 31. Non-fictional discourse is usually embedded in a context that tells you how to take it: an instruction manual, a newspaper report, a letter from a charity. The context of fiction, though, explicitly leaves open the question of what the fiction is really about. Reference to the world is not so much a property of literary works as a function they are given by interpretation. * ^ Iftekharuddin, Frahat (ed.). (2003). _The Postmodern Short Story: Forms and Issues_. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 23. * ^ Jones, Oliver. (2015). "Why Fan Fiction is the Future of Publishing." _The Daily Beast_. The Daily Beast Company LLC. * ^ Milhorn, H. Thomas. (2006). _ Writing Genre Fiction: A Guide to the Craft_. Universal Publishers: Boca Raton. p. 3-4. * ^ J. A. Cuddon, _The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms_ (1992). London: Penguin Books, 1999, p.600. * ^ Heart of Darkness Novella by Conrad - _Encyclopædia Britannica_, * ^ Whiteman, G.; Phillips, N. (13 December 2006). "The Role of Narrative Fiction and Semi- Fiction in Organizational Studies". _ERIM Report Series Research in Management_. ISSN 1566-5283 . SSRN 981296  _. access-date= requires url= (help ) * ^ Slashdot Interview_ from October 20, 2004 with Neal Stephenson * ^ Grossman 2006 . * ^ _The Charlie Rose Show_ from June 14, 2006 with John Updike Archived 3 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine . * ^ _A_ _B_ Saricks 2009 , p. 180. * ^ Coles 2009 , p. 7. * ^ Saricks 2009 , p. 181-182. * ^ Coles 2007 , p. 26. * ^ Coles 2009 , p. 8. * ^ Saricks 2009 , p. 179. * ^ _A_ _B_ Saricks 2009 , p. 182. * ^ Rafferty 2011 . * ^ Wood, James. 2008. _How Fiction Works._ New York. Farrar, Straus line-height:1.2em">Library resources about FICTION -------------------------

* Resources in your library

Find more aboutFICTIONat's sister projects

* _Definitions from Wiktionary * Media from Commons * Quotations from Wikiquote * Travel guide from Wikivoyage * Learning resources from Wikiversity

* Kate Colquhoun on the blurred boundaries between fiction and non-fiction * Example of a Serial Blog/Short Story Magazine * Subhasis Chattopadhyay, \'Claiming the Domain of the Literary: Mourning the Death of Reading Fiction, Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India_ 121 (6) (June 2016): 505-11

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