Similarities between Fiction and Non-Fiction

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Both fiction and non-fiction are pieces of literature that can include writings, live films, television programs, performances, animations, and role-playing games – although it commonly refers to novels, short stories, and plays. However, the two are very distinct. This article will focus on similarities between the two, but first, let us understand the definitions.

What is Fiction?

Fiction is something invented through imagination. It is therefore not based on history or any fact. Fiction is easy to distinguish as the themes and scenarios are created by the author, characters are not real, and have never existed. It can include stories that are imagined by the author and everything in the story including characters and localities described in the novel are not real. However, some works of fiction can include stories that use real cities but use fictionalized characters from the real world.

Similarities between Fiction and Non-Fiction

Nowadays, to invent realistic stories, writers try to can describe a scenario precisely as it is but uses fictitious characters. Fiction is considered as the outdated opposite of non-fiction, whose inventors undertake responsibility for providing only factual and historical truth. Thus, if you are writing fiction, your imagination is the limit. There is freedom, and you do not have to stick to facts. If you want the earth to be a square, then it will be a square. If you want a character to fly like birds, then so is it, if you want the sun red, then it will be red. You can create new world, new beings, to emphasize; your imagination is your only limit.

What is Non- Fiction?

Unlike fictional work, non-fiction refers to literature or cinema that focuses on written works envisioned to provide true accounts of real events and happenings. Biographies, memoirs, and autobiographies can be described as non-fiction. They implement a fiction-like writing style to improve the narrative and its flow. However, the storylines and the scenarios are not invented; the places and the people and exist in real life.

Today, strict guidelines exist for nonfiction works –  if a, a biography, autobiography or a memoir does not convey the events and facts precisely as they occurred, it will be categorized as a work of fiction that is based on actual events and a  true story but it will not be considered nonfiction. While there could be some grey areas including circumstances and perspectives leading to a fact-based story, a fact cannot be changed. Therefore, to write non-fiction, you must stick to the truth and facts – a nickel has to be a nickel, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and the earth rotates every 24 hours takes 365 days to revolve around the sun once. However, this is not to say that your story cannot be exciting and engaging –you can creatively weave in some sparks to make the factual story flow. Additionally, in writing non-fiction, you need to make references and quotes to make your story credible, which is not the case with fictional work.

Similarities between Fiction and Non-Fiction

Although, there are significant differences between fiction and non-fiction works, the two have some similar features including the following:

  1. Both fiction and non-fiction works comprise a narrative- a report of a story or events.
  2. Both start with the idea that acts as groundwork for the story or events
  3. Both are types of writing genres and therefore have a writing aspect
  4. Both can be of any length.
  5. Writers often start with a brief plan or outline when writing either one of them. You have to have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
  6. Both can contain quotes and dialogues
  7. They can be written in the same style and can evoke similar emotions in characters
  8. Both require revision, proof, editing and re-editing
  9. Both teach the reader something – it could be a truth, a lesson, or a moral

Final Thoughts on  Similarities between Fiction and Non-Fiction

While it is true that fiction and nonfiction writing have several similarities, it is essential to understand the difference between them so that you can bring out the best of each. The differences are clear enough such that you can prefer one to the other.


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