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What are Fiction Novels?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
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  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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The term "fiction novels" is actually redundant since a novel is always fiction. In publishing, fiction refers to imagined stories and characters, while non-fiction is writing about true events or real people. Fiction novels are books written in different genres, or themes. Science fiction, romance, mystery and thriller are just some of the many genres of popular novels sold today.

Thrillers have exciting plots, or story lines. Often, in thriller fiction novels, the main character fights to overcome situations in which he or she could die, or be ruined in some way, at the hands of a dark enemy. The main character, or protagonist, could be blackmailed for his or her past secrets, for example. Thrillers differ from mysteries in that the enemy, or antagonist, is usually identified near the beginning of the novel. John Grisham is a popular legal thriller writer, while Robert Ludlum is known for his spy thrillers.

Mystery fiction novels center around a puzzling crime, typically a murder, that must be solved. Mystery novelists such as Patricia Cornwell and Janet Evanovich masterfully dish out clues to the reader while their lead characters work with the same information to solve the crime. Quirky detectives are the most common type of lead character in mystery or crime novels.

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Romance stories are about the search for love and the conflicts between people involved in relationships. A fiction novel in the genre of romance can have many settings, but of course, romantic locales tend to be the most appealing in these types of books. Wayne Jordan's Embracing the Moonlight is set on the tropical island of Barbados, while Barbara Taylor Bradford's Three Weeks in Paris takes place in France.

Science fiction books offer readers imaginative tales that could take them to other planets, times and lands that haven't been written about before. Of all the different genres of fiction, science fiction is the least predictable because unpredictable new worlds are what the readers expect to read. Many science fiction novels feature objects in space written about in unusual, highly imaginative ways. For instance, Joe R. Lansdale's Drive-In series involves a comet that dissolves the bodies of people trying to leave a drive-in movie theater called the Orbit.

Fiction novels may be in paperback, hardcover or digital form. Digital, or electronic book (ebook), novels are read online on computers. Although digital novels may be in any genre, the graphic novel is especially suited to the computer medium. Digital graphic novels are visual, comic book types of publications. They may offer the reader visual interaction as some of these online novels are computer games.

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lluviaporos
Post 3

@pleonasm - I don't know. I've read so-called biographies and not been able to relate to the characters, or have been unable to believe that that is what they actually did.

Telling a story, whether it is fiction or non-fiction has more to do with the reader inhabiting the character's mind than anything else. If I'm reading about Jack the Ripper, it better be a good story teller who can make me believe that he has a good reason (to him at least) for killing those women. Because, even though I know he did do it, if the story is told in a bad way I'm going to doubt that the author knows what they are talking about.

I find that

most bestselling fiction novels are the ones who put you right into the head of the main character. The main character might not be to your taste, but you can believe they are doing what they are doing, because they are almost real to you.
pleonasm
Post 2

@croydon - I think the best novels are the ones that are realistic. I don't mean ones that aren't in the fantasy genre, or the science fiction genre, but ones which have realistic reactions from people. The characters are believable and the book follows certain rules.

So, I can see the appeal of biographical books, as you're obviously getting real reactions, since they actually happened to someone.

And you can trust that they are what actually happened, so there's no need to worry about the book itself.

When you then get told that the book is partially made up, you have to go back over and doubt whether or not it really pulled you in, or if you were simply trusting that it was what actually happened.

croydon
Post 1

It's interesting how people are trying to blur the lines between fiction and non-fiction at the moment. I mean, I suppose they always did this, but it has became more talked about lately as there have been some prominent authors who have deliberately misled people into thinking their novel was actually an autobiography.

I've been told that often it is more difficult to sell certain kinds of fiction, but if you can dress it up and claim it is a biography that more people will buy it and it can be easier to sell to editors.

The other side is also true with some genres, in that it is easier to sell fiction than non-fiction and I've heard that some people will claim it is a fictional story when in fact it isn't.

As long as the story is well told and enjoyable it's difficult to know whether it should matter if it really happened to someone.

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