Back to Basics: Fiction vs. Nonfiction
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is in full swing, and as we mentioned in last week’s blog, this month-long celebration of the art of writing began on November 1 and will last until 11:59 p.m. on November 30. You read that right: That’s 30 full days for writers to create a 50,000- word book of their own!
As promised, we are joining in the NaNoWriMo celebration in our own way here on the Dorrance blog. This week we’re going to talk about the main differences between fiction and nonfiction books.
Every piece of literature fits into a specific genre, from poetry to science fiction and autobiographies to narrative nonfiction. Each of these fall under two overarching literary genres: fiction and non-fiction.
So in case you’re feeling a bit of confusion as to where your book would fit in, we are going to explore the main differences between fiction and nonfiction.
Fiction – This type of literature is a product of the imagination and can encompass anything from novels to short stories to plays. When writing a work of fiction, the writer has the opportunity to invent a world that escapes reality. With the holidays right around the corner, have you wanted to write your very own children’s book about Santa and his band of elves? Or perhaps an alien invasion of Albuquerque is the plot of your book? Both would fit right in under the fiction header.
In the Dorrance Bookstore , our fiction section includes novels ranging from mysteries and suspense to romance and science fiction. Take a look at the great books we have to offer, and maybe one will spark your imagination and motivate you to write your own work of fiction this month.
Nonfiction – On the other hand we have nonfiction books. These describe real historical figures or actual events. Sometimes they are happenings from the author’s own life, and other times they’re researched pieces about a person or a period of time or of particular interest to the author. The Dorrance-published 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates Day by Day is a prime example of a nonfiction book. While authors employ literary techniques to make the story an interesting read, the information itself is true-to-life.
Typically, when someone says they’re writing a novel, they mean they’re creating a work of fiction. However, the term “nonfiction novel” does bear mention in our discussion of fiction vs. nonfiction. In this unique type of literature, the events are true, but the characters’ conversations and feelings – even sometimes some of the characters themselves – are created by the author. Essentially, it’s a blend of fact and fiction, sometimes also known as “faction.” One of the most well-known nonfiction novels is Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.
Whether you’re embedded in researching a nonfiction book, or you’re diving into the depths of your imagination on a work of fiction, here at Dorrance, we just want you to take some time and write. So enjoy this month celebrating the writing process!