8 Types of Fiction

Writing Class Notes: 8 Types Of Fiction

I was enlightened, when I took a writing class, as to the many types of fiction there are to read, as well as write.  They are based on word count mostly.  For me, it is a good resource to keep in mind since I have a romance story I want to write in the future. In reading the description of each type of fiction, I am leaning toward it being a novella or short story.  

Novel - An extended piece of fiction, normally at least 40,000 words long. Most novels have multiple characters, a central plot building up to an important climax near the end, and two or more subplots.

Novella - A mid-length work of fiction, shorter than a novel but longer than a short story - typically between 20,000 and 35,000 words. A novella normally has some complexity in plot and characterization, but has fewer characters than a novel and may lack subplots. Also known as the short novel.

Short Story - A short work of fiction, usually under 20,000 words. It is traditionally based on a single plot, event, character, or set of characters, and typically leads quickly to a climax and resolution.

Short-short Story - A very brief story, usually 1,500 words or less. Most short-shorts are based entirely on a simple plot and end in a surprise, irony, or joke.

Vignette - A brief piece of fiction that vividly depicts or describes a person, place, or event. Vignettes need not (and typically do not) have a climax or much plot. Also called slice of life.

Prose Poem - A very brief piece of fiction, usually under 500 words, that emphasizes imagery, rhythm, and other elements of poetry.

Anti-Story - A Work of fiction that takes the form of an essay or other non-fiction work. Examples: Jorge Luis Borge's "Funes, The Memorious" and Woody Allen's "The Irish Genius."

Novelette - Not a literary form at all, but simply a designation used by some magazines for short stories longer than 7,500 or 10,000 words.

This post previously appeared in my former blog, The Writer Today

What type of fiction do you prefer reading and/or writing?


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