menu

Kinds Of Fiction


Fiction is as old as storytelling. All types of audiences are interested in stories created by storytellers and often find meaning and ideas in their content. Authors commonly use fiction to deal with questions of racial relations, love and sexuality, technology and morality. Fiction can be classified in several genres and subgenres and many stories have elements of more than one genre.

Science Fiction

Science Fiction differs from other forms of fictional literature because while it tells about supernatural events, the settings are based on science and scientific theories. Science fiction has become increasingly popular as the media produces an increase in science fiction films and television shows. In some educational circles, this genre is criticized because it presents a purely imaginary world to developing adolescents while others argue that in many cases the ideas expressed in works of science fiction have often become reality in later decades. For example in the works of Jules Verne, which includes "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea," the author described technology that was nonexistent in his era, but is now readily used.

Mysteries

A well-developed plot is an essential element of a good mystery. In this type of mystery, the audience tries to deduce who committed a crime or where a missing person or object might be found. In these stories, the setting may frequently change and the author may jump back and forth from one time period to another in order to reveal clues in a unique manner. Modern mystery often appears as detective stories.

Fantasy

Fantasy stories are unique because they involve imaginary events, characters or settings. The novels in J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" series provide classic examples of fantasy literature. The books satisfy the general components of fantasy literature with clear distinctions between good and evil while the motives of antagonists who appear in other genres are often more obscure. Like many fantasies, the stories are set in another world where magic is commonplace and nature possesses human like qualities.

Realistic and Historical Fiction

Realistic and Historical Fiction are similar types. While realistic fictional stories may seem real because events in the plot could happen and characters do not possess any supernatural abilities and behave like normal people, historical fiction also seems real though it is set in the past. Historical fiction often includes factual events like the Revolutionary War or the Holocaust but other elements of the story are created by the author.

Traditional Literature

Traditional fiction involves the stories shared by past generations, including folklore, fairy tales, myths and legends. Although some of these stories might be inspired by actual people, events or conditions, their charm often results from the magical elements that have weaved their way into the tales after generations for storytelling. The Greek Perseus myths, "Snow White," and the American Paul Bunyan fall into this category of fiction.

About the Author

Valerie Taylor holds a master's degree in ancient history and a bachelor's degree in education and literature. She coauthored an article on Spartan religion for the "Journal of Sparta" in 2010 and has written numerous, history-related articles for Internet publication. Taylor enjoys hiking, gardening and running half-marathons.

Photo Credits
  • Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images