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Lesson # 6

Writing Fiction
The Art of Story Telling
People love telling stories. It is a favorite pastime often designed to inform,
delight, interest, amuse, console, or enlighten the hearers or listeners.
When we were children, we enjoyed listening to the stories told by our
elders especially those that had elements of mystery, adventure, romance,
and fantasy; we recounted the same stories to our childhood friends; and
as we get older, we eventually pass them on to the much younger members
of the family.
Storytelling is a basic human activity... It is what
connects us to others as human beings, and what
separates us from other life forms.
Storytelling is a basic human activity that dates back to the beginning of time.
Wherever we are, a great amount of our time is spent on telling stories or
listening to them. It is what connects us to others as human beings, and what
separates us from other life forms. No matter how technologically- advanced
the world has become, our fascination for stories remains the same.

We are all storytellers. We interact with people everyday. We


may not be really conscious or aware of it, but whenever we
make plans, ask for advice, share our problems with the
people we trust, or when we make crucial decisions in life,
we are actually telling stories. Through narratives, we are
able to share our thoughts, feelings, and expectations. We
have that strong and innate desire to reveal truths that only
we can tell through stories.
According to the dictionary, a story is
the telling of a happening or a series of
connected events. When we tell stories
or read them, we are actually educating
ourselves and enriching our
imagination. Through Stories we get to
know more about ourselves and the
people we come in contact with; and we
are able to understand the world we live
in. We are likewise able to relate with
the characters in stories whose
experiences are 'Very much like our
own and the people that we know.
Fiction is defined as “a series of imagined facts
which illustrates close to us. truths about
human life.”

One misconception about fiction is that it


opposed to truth and therefore considered false
and untrue. But about fiction is that it is
opposed to it does not at all oppose the truth,
because the situations, incidents truth and
therefore and characters found in fiction are
created to illustrate what may and can happen
as long as the writer does not violate the rules of
probability, plausibility, and necessity. A writer
may also draw on considered false and untrue.
But it does factual information to create
fictional scenes, characters, and events.
Fiction does not require the presentation
of actual people and characters found
situations, but characters and incidents
may be based on actual in fiction are
created people and real life events. Today,
fiction is no longer limited to the usual
book form. We can now read and enjoy
fiction through the to illustrate what may
electronic media. The Internet has a big
role in the redistribution of fiction and to
the creation of new forms, such as fan
fiction, wattpad fiction, serial blog fiction,
collaborative fiction, flash fiction, and
other forms. The Internet has made
fictional texts readily available to readers.
The principal types of fiction are the short story
and the novel. A short story is a brief, artistic
form of prose fiction which centers on a single
main incident and intends to produce a single
dominant impression. Economy, compression,
and emphasis characterize the short story. It
involves the strict selection of details. Only
those details that the writer considers as
meaningful and essential are included in the
narration. A short story that emphasizes plot
focuses on the development of the action
through a complication that leads to the
resolution. One that emphasizes character
focuses on the inner life of an individual who
usually dominates and determines the course of
the narrative.
A story that emphasizes setting uses local color to show
what is distinct, exotic, or picturesque in the milieu, the
time, and setting of the narrative. A short story may also
emphasize the theme or the message to help readers
understand better the significant and fundamental
truths about life and human nature.

The world that the writer constructs in a short story is


small but complete and self-contained' It resembles the
real world but differs from it in the sense that.in the real
world, events happen in a random and disorganized
fashion. In a short story, the writer chooses and
organizes details with a definite purpose in mind.
Usually, the writer provides a definite resolution.
Genres of Fiction
Fable
It is a brief story that offers some
pointed statements of truth or explicitly
states a moral. The characters in fables
are anthropomorphized animals or
natural forces, or animals or natural
forces with human traits or
characteristics.

Example:
Fable Aesop's The Hare and the Tortoise
parable
It is a brief narrative with a realistic plot. It
implicitly teaches a moral. Unlike in a fable,
the main characters in a parable are human
beings. A parable is more serious and
suggestive than a fable. Its meaning can be
open to several interpretations. The Holy Bible
is a rich source of timeless parables by Jesus
Christ.

Examples:
The Parable of the Prodigal Son
The Parable of the Good Shepherd
tale
It is a short narrative that is handed down from
the past. A tale contains strange and wonderful
events without detailed characterization—the
ones you read in fairy tales. It is also known as
"yarn" which aims to reveal the marvelous rather
than the character. One type of tale is the "tall
tale," a folk story which recounts the deeds of a
superhero or of the storyteller.

Examples:
Jack and the Beanstalk
Rapunzel
Romantic fiction
It is a narrative that focuses on adventurous and
daring actions It is usually set in a remote time and
place with a dashing hero who saves a beautiful
maiden in distress. It often views life as optimistic
and idealistic; thus, it prefers a happy ending.
Modern romance novels, however, can have either
happy or sad ending, like those written by Nicholas
Sparks and Danielle Steele. Jane Austen and Ray
Bradbury use more complex characters and more
complicated plots.
Examples:
Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility
Ray Bradbury's A Story of Love
Realistic fiction
It is a narrative that depicts life as it is. The
characters in realistic fiction are ordinary men
and women, like the people we encounter on a
daily basis—those with real issues realistically
dealt with. Though ordinary, the characters in
realistic fiction can also become heroic.
Examples:
Novels of Sinclair and Henry James
naturalistic
fiction
It is also called extreme or ultra realism.
Characters in naturalistic fiction are portrayed
as having little or no free will. They are mere
human beasts and automatons who are victims
of their own drives, instincts, and impulses, They
are doomed to failure and sometimes death.
Examples:
Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy
Guy de Maupassant's The Necklace
Historical novel
It is a detailed reconstruction of life in another time,
and perhaps in another place. In some historical
novels, the author attempts to depict a faithful
picture of daily life in another era. History is the
backdrop for a historical novel of love and heroic
adventure. A historical novel recaptures the spirit
and atmosphere of an age or era in the past. Certain
historical events and characters can be chosen by the
historical novelist to provide authenticity.
Examples:
Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall Bringing Up the Bodies
Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe
psychological
novel
It transfers its setting from the outside world to the
mind and the inner life of a character. The
psychological novelist uses the method called
"stream of consciousness" to externalize the
thoughts, sensations, memories, impressions that
rush through the mind without order or coherence.
Examples:
James Joyce's Ulysses
Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway
Science fiction
It deals with futuristic concepts such as new world
settings, futuristic science and technology, space and
time travel, intergalactic warfare, extraterrestrial
life, alien abduction, and parallel universes. Science
fiction foresees or assumes inventions or
technologies that are not realities at the time of the
work's creation.
Examples:
Michel Faber's Under the Skin
Octavia Butler's Kindred
Non-realistic
fiction
It involves events that cannot happen in real life
because they are set in another world or some
nonexistent location that is very different from ours.
This also includes stories that have supernatural or
magic elements which are classified under the genre
of fantasy and even horror.
Examples:
Joyce Carol Oates' The Accursed
Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake
Non-fiction novel/
fictionalized account
Also known as reconstructed biography,
it is a novel based on the true story of
real people and real life events.

Examples:
Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song
Truman Capote's Cold Blood
Epistolary novel
It is an early form of fiction told in epistles or
letters. Epistolary novels usually contain letters
by only one character, but at times can also
contain letters by several characters in the book.

Example:
Pierre Choderlos de Laclos's Dangerous Liaisons
(Les Liaisons dangereuses)
Bildungsroman/
apprenticeship novel
Bildungsroman is a German term for a "novel of
growth or development." It is a novel in which a
youngster struggles toward maturity, seeking
perhaps some consistent worldview or philosophy of
life. It can also be the author's recollection of his/her
own early life.

Examples:
Charles Dickens's Great Expectations
NVM Gonzales's A Bread of Salt
Picaresque novel
The term ‘picaresque’ comes from the word picaro
which means rascal or rogue. It is a novel with a
likable scoundrel of low social class as protagonist
who lives by his wits, and who often wanders
through adventures duping the law-abiding
citizenry. It often adopts a realistic style with
elements of comedy and satire.

Examples:
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s Don Quixote
Voltaire’s Candide
There are other varieties of fiction which are familiar to those who scan the
racks of bookstores, like the mystery or detective novel, the Western novel,
speculative fiction, horror fiction, and other enduring types.

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