An Overview of the History of Fiction

Fiction has come to encompass imaginative storytelling in any format, including writings, live performances, comics, films, television programs, animations, games (most notably, video games and role-playing games), and so on. In its narrowest traditional usage, fiction denotes any literary narrative including novels, novellas, short stories, and plays.

Fiction’s traditional opposite is non-fiction, a narrative work whose creator assumes responsibility for presenting only the historical and factual truth. The distinction between fiction and non-fiction however can be unclear in some recent artistic and literary movements, such as postmodern literature.

Characters and events within a fictional work may even be set in their own context entirely separate from the known universe: an independent fictional universe. A work of fiction implies the inventive act of worldbuilding, so its audience does not typically expect it to be totally faithful to the real world in presenting only characters who are actual people or descriptions that are factually true. Instead, the context of fiction, generally understood as not adhering precisely to the real world, is more open to interpretation.

 

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