“Fiction versus Non-Fiction” Do Your Readers Know The Difference ?

Fiction v. Nonfiction

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The distinction between fiction and nonfiction has been blurred in recent years. Novelists (writers of fiction) have based stories on real life events and characters (nonfiction), and historians (writers of nonfiction) have incorporated imagined dialogue (fiction) to suggest the thoughts of historical figures.

Texts are commonly classified as fiction or nonfiction. The distinction addresses whether a text discusses the world of the imagination (fiction) or the real world (nonfiction).

Fiction: poems, stories, plays, novels
Nonfiction: newspaper stories, editorials, personal accounts, journal articles, textbooks, legal documents

Fiction is commonly divided into three areas according to the general appearance of the text: stories and novels: prose–that is, the usual paragraph structure–forming chapters

Poetry: lines of varying length, forming stanzas

Plays: spoken lines and stage directions, arranged in scenes and acts
Other than for documentaries, movies are fiction because they present a “made up” story. Movie reviews, on the other hand, are nonfiction, because they discuss something real—namely movies.

Note that newspaper articles are nonfiction—even when fabricated. The test is not whether the assertions are true. Nonfiction can make false assertions, and often does. The question is whether the assertions claim to describe reality, no matter how speculative the discussion may be. Claims of alien abduction are classified as nonfiction, while “what if” scenarios of history are, by their very nature, fiction.

Article courtesy of: Dan Kurland’s http://www.criticalreading.com
Reading and Writing Ideas As Well As Words

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