Introduction to the study of English Fiction

English Fiction

When you are done the day, had dinner and now ready to snuggle in a written art of your choice. You look at the stack of books to the left of your favorite chair and start checking them out one by one. What is it going to be today? And remembering you are an English literature student, everything on the table is relevance. So you think about some George Washington Biography, but it does not work for you. It could be interesting, but that is not what you are looking for. And then it hits you that there is a mystery novel from your favorite author you haven’t checked yet. You look at the plot and nod with an agreement that this is definitely a good story. Now you will read fiction.

This is how exciting fiction stories can be. Chances of one choosing them over other works are very high because they create an attraction beyond what one could have imagined. But studying literature may be a bit more complicated than you think, yet, still as fun. Fiction studies take a deeper dive into the imaginary works. Hence, it looks at the author, related authors, their background, their motivations, and everything else around them that may contribute to writing a specific text. And hence, it requires a proper understanding of the language in fiction, the process, the stylistics, and the methods of creating a fiction story. In this article, we shall introduce you to the term fiction and what it means to a student.

The Definition of Fiction

The human mind works in a creative way, depending on the experiences of an individual. The learning theory of language denotes that the human mind is able to learn by itself from different situations. It can create different worlds, into what can appear a perfect environment for a certain process. And this is why it is very easy to create an imaginary story. When studying fiction, it is important to understand a little bit of psychology, philosophy, and linguistics. These are three aspects of humanity that seem separate. Each has been trying to work separately to prove itself different, but it never works. At some point, psychology and philosophy meet on understanding language and mind. And there is no fiction where one is unable to comprehend the relationship between language and mind, and or they affect each other.

Fiction is creative imagination, a representation of the author’s mind. The author invents a tale, makes up characters, and creates a plot/storyline; they may also create dialogue and setting for their stories. Fiction work does not necessarily tell a true story. Instead, it combines experiences that may never have been real and introduce us to people or things that may interest cause a specific reaction in our lives. Fiction seeks to serve a different purpose, including inspiring, intriguing, scare, and engage the mind in different ideas. It can help one see themselves in a new world and exciting ways. And above all, fiction is just fun.

What are the types of fiction?

Fiction is a vast topic of study. There are different types of stories that make up fiction. The three main examples include the short story, the novella, and the novel.

The Short Story

Just like the name suggests, this is a short written piece of work that can be written in a single sitting. According to Edgar Allan Poe, a famous short story author, a short story can be read in a sitting of about half an hour to a maximum of two hours. They contain between 1,000 to 20,000 words and typically run for not above 30 pages. And because short stories are limited in length, they generally focus on one major plot or storyline and have a few characters. Think back, perhaps on those assignments you did in your elementary and high school readers. Most of them were probably short stories. Such works as Washington Irving, by Edgar Poe, or his “A Tell-Tale Heart” fall under this category.

The novella

Up the ladder from short stories are novellas. These are stories that tend to go longer than short stories, containing 20,000 to 50,000 words. They can be between 60 to 120 pages. And because they have more room to work with, they tend to incorporate more a more complex plot or storyline and have more characters than short fiction. Good examples are The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson and The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

The Novel

As you may have already guessed, fiction writings are categorized based on their volume. Hence, a novel is much longer. It contains over 50,000 words or 120 pages. They are more complicate than novellas.

In most cases, a novel will contain more than one plot and storyline, with many well-developed characters. The author determines how long the novel can be because there was not a specific outer length. The longest novel ever is written in the 17th-century work with more than two million words and 13,000 pages. The book has been very popular over the centuries.

Studying techniques

As stated above, fiction is the most exciting area of study for English students. It digs into the human imagination, bringing out everything interesting and creating perfect worlds beyond comprehension. It is through fiction that we get a glimpse of other planets like Mars, through science fiction. A fiction has three levels of dimension that can make it easy for a student:

The first dimension is the story, which handles the events and character. A narrative is transferable through different media, and it can be used in a drama, a novel, a film, or a musical production like the famous of William Shakespeare. Characters in a story can be classified based on complexity, development, and penetration. Then there is text, which is realized as a plot. Text can be achieved through different techniques, including time techniques, characterization, and focalization. Last but not least is the narration techniqueEnglish Fiction, which encompasses levels and voices. A story has to be told through a specific guideline and point of view.


1021 Words


May 18, 2020


3 Pages

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