Literature has a wide range of genres and all those forms of literature can either be fictional or nonfictional. Fiction is one that is based on imagination and fantasies. As against, Nonfiction implies the form of writing which talks about real events, people and facts. In short, we can say that fiction represents something which is not true, it is unreal, whereas nonfiction indicates a factual account.
Fiction can be understood as the literary work created as per one’s imagination, i.e. the author’s creative thought or made-up stories and characters. On the other hand, reading a nonfictional work means you are reading something that actually happened or someone that actually exist, i.e. it is not a cooked up story, rather it is fact and evidence-based account.
Now, in this article, we are going to look at the differences between fiction and nonfiction
Content: Fiction Vs Nonfiction
|Basis for Comparison||Fiction||Nonfiction|
|Meaning||Fiction is any narrative which does not contain facts or real events, rather it is based on imagination.||Nonfiction implies that form of prose which discusses true events, facts and information.|
|Directness||Readers are supposed to follow and understand the abstractly presented theme.||There must be a direct presentation of the information.|
|Purpose||To entertain the readers.||To educate or inform the readers.|
|References||May or may not be given||Must be given|
|Perspective||Narrator or Character||Author|
Definition of Fiction
Fiction can be understood as an imaginative creation, which does not exist in reality, rather it is produced by the author’s creative thought. It is a type of imaginative prose literature, which can be both spoken or written account containing imaginary characters, events and descriptions.
Writing fiction means that the writer creates their own fantasy world, in their minds and introduce it to the rest of the world through the book. As the story is not real and factual, they cook it up in a way that makes it very interesting and engaging.
From the reader’s point of view, fictional work refers to the creative fabrication of a fantasy world, by the author, i.e. the author imagines the entire story and its characters, the overall plot, dialogues and setting.
The work of fictions is never based on a true story, and so when we go through such works, it visualizes such situation which we may never face in reality or we will come across those characters who we may never get a chance to meet in our real life and also take us to a world where we may never go otherwise.
It is that form of entertainment or art which contains hypothetical plot and characteristics in any format, such as comics, television programs, audio recordings, drama, novel, novella, short story, fairy tales, films, fables, etc. It includes writing related to mystery, suspense, crime thrillers, fantasies, science fiction, romance, etc.
So, fictional writings have the ability to inspire, or change the perspectives towards life, engage in the story, surprise with the twist and turn and also scare or amaze with the ending.
Definition of Nonfiction
Nonfiction is the widest form of literature which contains informative, educational and factual writings. It is a true account or representation of a particular subject. It claims to portray authentic and truthful information, description, events, places, characters or existed things.
Although, the statements and explanation provided may or may not be exact and so it is possible that it provides a true or false narrative of the subject which is talked about. Nevertheless, the author who created the account often believes or claim it to be true, when it is being created.
When a nonfictional work is created, the emphasis is given to the simplicity, clarity, and straightforwardness. It encompasses essays, expository, memoirs, self-help, documentaries, textbooks, biographies and autobiographies, newspaper report and books on history, politics, science, technology, business and economics.
Key Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction
Upcoming points will explain the difference between fiction and nonfiction
- Fiction is a literary work which contains the imaginary world, i.e. characters, situation, setting and dialogue. On the flip side, nonfiction implies that type of writing which provides true information or contains such facts or events which are real.
- Fiction is subjective in nature, as the author has the freedom to add his opinion or perspective to the writeup. As well as the writer can elaborate any character, plot or setting as per his imagination. However, nonfiction is objective because the writer cannot add his/her opinion, as it is purely fact-based and authentic and because there is no scope for imagination, the writer needs to be straightforward.
- When writing fiction, the author has the flexibility, to move the story in the direction which make it more exciting and interesting. Conversely, nonfictional writers do not have such flexibility because they have to provide information which is true and real.
- In a fictional work, the writer is of the opinion that the audience will follow and understand the theme which is hidden in the content. In fact, the story can be interpreted by the readers in different ways depending on their level of understanding. As against, in a nonfictional work, there is a simple and direct presentation of the information and facts. So, there is only one interpretation.
- The main purpose of writing fiction is to entertain the readers, whereas nonfiction writing educates the reader about a subject or to further their knowledge about something.
- In fictional writing, references may or may not be provided by the author. On the other hand, in nonfictional writing references are provided compulsorily by the writer wherever required, so as to make the writing more credible.
- Fiction is always from the perspective of the narrator, i.e. the writer, or the character, i.e. the main or supporting character of the story. In contrast, non-fiction is always from the perspective of the author.
By and large, fiction and nonfiction are diametrically opposite to one another. In a fictional work, most of the part is imaginary i.e. scripted by the author. Fictional stories help the readers to take a break from their everyday boring life, and lost in the dreamy world of excitement, for quite some time.
On the contrary, nonfiction is all about factual stories, that emphasize on actual events, characters and places. It tends to teach and explain things to the readers.