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Reading and writing fiction
Fiction
- A series of imagined facts which illustrates
truths about human life.
- Does not require the presentation of actual
people and situations, but characters and
incidents may be based on actual people and
real life events.
- One misconception about fiction is
that it opposed to truth therefore
considered false and untrue. But it
does not all oppose the truth,
because the situations, incidents and
characters found in fiction are created
to illustrate what may and can
happen.
Principal Types of Fiction
1. Short Story is a brief, artistic form of
prose fiction which centers on a single
main incident and intends to produce a
single dominant impression.
Economy, compression, and emphasis
characterize the short story.
2. Novel is an extensive prose
narrative, a book-length story written
in prose usually comprising 75, 000 to
100, 000 words. Because of its length,
the novel can develop more
characters, a more complicated plot,
more elaborate settings, and more
themes.
Different Genres of Fiction
a. Fable – it is a brief story that offers some pointed
statements of truth or explicitly states a moral. The
characters in fables are anthropomorphized
animals or natural forces, or animals or natural
forces with human traits or characteristics.
Ex. Aesop’s The Hare and the Tortoise
b. Parable – it is a brief narrative with a realistic
plot. It implicitly teaches a moral. The Holy bible is a
rich source of timeless parables by Jesus Christ.
Ex. The Parable of the Prodigal Son
c. Tale – a tale contains strange and wonderful
events without detailed characterization-the ones
you read in fairy tales. It is also known as “yarn”
which aims to reveal the marvellous rather than the
character.
Ex. Jack and the Beanstalk
d. Romantic Fiction – it is a narrative that focuses on
adventurous and daring actions. It is usually set in a
remote time and place with a dashing hero who saves a
beautiful maiden in distress. It often views life as
optimistic and idealistic; thus it prefers a happy ending.
Ex. Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility
e. Realistic Fiction – the characters are ordinary men
and women, like the people we encounter a daily basis-
those with real issues realistically dealt with.
Ex. Novels of Sinclair Lewis and the James.
f. Naturalistic Fiction – it is also called extreme or
ultra realism. Characters are portrayed as having
little or no free will.
Ex. Guy de Maupassant’s The Necklace
g. Historical Novel – is a detailed reconstruction of
life in another time and perhaps in another place.
Recaptures the spirit and atmosphere of an age or
era in the past.
Ex. Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe
h. Psychological Fiction – it transfers its
setting from the outside world to the mind and
the inner life of a character. The psychological
novelist uses the method called “stream of
consciousness” to externalize the thoughts,
ideas, sensations, memories, impressions that
rush through the mind w/o order or coherence.
Ex. James Joyce’s Ulysses
i. Science Fiction – it deals with futuristic concepts
such as new world settings, futuristic science and
technology, space and time travel, intergalactic
warfare, extraterrestrial life, alien abduction and
parallel universe.
Ex. Michael Faber’s Under the Skin
j. Non-realistic fiction – stories that have
supernatural or magic elements which are classified
under the genre of fantasy and even horror.
Ex. Joyce Carol Oates’ The Accursed
k. Nonfiction novel/ Fictionalized Account – also
known as reconstructed biography, it is a novel
based on the true story of real people and real life
events.
Ex. Truman Capote’s Cold Blood
l. Epistolary Novel – it is an early form of fiction told
in epistles or letters. Usually contain letters by only
one character, but at times can also contain letters
by several characters in the book.
Ex. Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’s Dangerous Liaisons
m. Bildungsroman/ Apprenticeship
Novel – Bildungsroman is a German
term for a “novel of growth or
development”. It is a novel in which a
youngster struggles toward maturity,
seeking perhaps some consistent
worldview or philosophy of life.
Ex. Charles Dickens’s Great Expectation
Elements of the Genre
1. Character
2. Point of View
3. Plot
4. Setting and Atmosphere
5. Conflict
6. Irony
7. Theme
1. Character
- Is an imagined person who inhabits a story, but
characters may also be based on real people whom
the writer uses as a models. Characters are not
limited to human beings.
- It is the first essential ingredient in any successful
story.
Types of Characters
1. Stock characters or stereotyped characters
- these are characters that require less- detailed
portrayal.
2. Hero/Heroine
- the hero is the good guy or leading male
character who opposes the villain or the bad guy.
The leading female character is the heroine. In
most modern fiction, however, the lead character
is just an ordinary human being like the rest of us.
-It is also called antihero because he does not fit
the traditional heroic mold. The antihero is a flawed
character who is more than just a good guy.
3. Protagonist
- It is an older and more neutral term than “hero”
for the leading character which does not imply
either the presence or the absence of outstanding
virtue. The protagonist’s opponent is the
antagonist.
4. Major or Main Characters
- They are also called lead characters and we
think of them as more complex than the minor
characters, the other figures who appear in a
story.
5. Foil
- Serves as a contrast to the major character to
highlight the particular qualities of the latter.
6. Flat Characters and Round Characters
- Flat characters are stock characters or
stereotypes who are somehow capable of
advancing the plot, but require only the barest
outlines of description. Round characters are
usually the protagonist. They have more than
just one trait. They are complex and at times
complicated.
7. Static and Dynamic Characters
- Static characters do not experience basic
character changes through the course of the
story. Dynamic characters experiences
changes throughout the development of the
story. A dynamic character may undergo
sudden changes but these are usually
expected based on the events of the story.
Writing Tips
How do you create a character? How do you bring
your characters to life?
1. According to Lagos Egri, the author of The Art of
Dramatic Writing, a writer must know the 3
dimensions of fictional characters:
* Physical – refers to physical dimensions such as
body type, health, clothing, and movement.
* Sociological – refers to the character’s name,
biographical details, social status, economic status,
race and ethnicity, family members and relationships,
residence, education, profession, and beliefs.
* Psychological – refers to personality, speech
patterns, attitudes toward self and others, hobbies
and interests, talents, likes and dislikes, habits,
dreams and ambitions, fears, sources of laughter,
anger, worry or stress, his/her attitude toward the
opposite sex, teachers, superiors, friends,
competition, etc.
2. Provide details of the character’s
past.
3. Imagine them like they are real
people with emotions and
contradictions to make them
believable.
3. Show them in action.
2. Point of View
- Refers to the narrator in the story, the vantage
point from where readers observe the events of
the story, or the writer’s special angle of vision,
the one whose perspective is told.
- Every story has a narrator, the teller of the
story from whose eyes we look through as we
read.
When we read a story, there is always a
viewer or speaker between us and the events
that occur. This mediation involves focus and
voice.
Focus – functions like a camera; it is the
frame through which characters, events, and
other important details are viewed.
Voice – refers to the words that embody the
story.
First person
- In this point of view, the narrator is a participant
in the action. It uses the pronoun “I” or “we”, and
the narrator may be either a major character or a
minor character who tells us directly his or her own
version of the events of the story.
- The first-person point of view is limited though
in the sense that the reader can only know details
and thoughts from the narrator, not from the other
characters.
Second Person
- It is used to tell a story to another character with
the word “You”. It is mostly told in the future tense.
It creates an effect similar to conversational
anecdotes. The reader may identify himself or
herself as the person addressed by the writer. A
writer uses this point of view to make the readers
feel that they are part of the story and that they are
character themselves.
Third Person
- It is the most common point of view and uses
the pronouns “he” “she”, and “they”. It
employs a nonparticipant narrator who can
usually move from place to place to describe
action and report dialogue. The author takes
on the role of the narrator. The words “I”, “You”
and “Me” only appear in dialogues.
Two major types:
1. All-knowing Point of View sees into the minds
of all characters, moving from one character to
another when needed. The narrator knows
everything about the characters, their past, their
lives, their future, their innermost thoughts. The
narrator even goes inside the heads of other
characters to express their thoughts, observations,
and feelings.
-Note that in all-knowing point of view, the
author, who knows everything, may express
through the narrator occasional comments or
opinions, which is known as editorial
omniscience.
- If the narrator comments directly on an action,
he or she making an authorial intrusion which
readers might find meddlesome.
2. Limited point of View, which is also called
selective omniscience or central
intelligence – a term introduced by Henry
James-uses a major or minor character as the
sole viewpoint character in the story. He/she is
a nonparticipating narrator who witnesses
events as they unfold.
Narrative Devices
Stream of Consciousness is a narrative
technique intended to render the flow of myriad
impressions-visual, auditory, physical,
associative, and subliminal, as they occur in the
narrator’s mind and not in a smooth, sequential,
or flowing way.
Interior monologue is device used by writers to
make the character speak out loud like delivering
a speech for the readers to overhear.
3. Plot
Plot or plot structure is a sequence of
events that “has a beginning, a middle,
and an end”. It is a pattern of actions,
events, and situations. Plot structure
gives shape to the different parts of a story
just like the framing of a house or the
skeleton of the body.
Climax
Rising Action Falling Action
Exposition Resolution
a. Exposition- the writer introduces the
characters, situation, and usually, the time and
place of the narrative. You can begin a story in
medias res (in the middle of things).
b. Rising Action- the body of a story contains
the conflict, where the rising action is built to
introduce complications that are either external
or internal.
c. Climax and Falling Action
- The central moment of crisis in a
plot is the climax. It is the point
greatest tension which initiates the
falling action of the story.
d. Resolution/Denouement is the final part of
a plot. The French term denouement refers to
untying of a knot. The denouement makes
the characters return to a stable situation. It is
the moment of insight, discovery, or revelation
by which a character’s life, is greatly altered. It
maybe closed or open.
Closed Denouement ties up everything
neatly and explains all unanswered
questions that readers might have, just like
in many mystery or detective stories.
Open Denouement leaves the readers
with a few thought-provoking loose ends.
Some stories are simple and contain a
single plot. However, there are also
complex ones which involve longer
periods of time. These plots are called
modular or episodic plots.
4. Setting and Atmosphere
Setting refers to the place and time
where and when an events happens.
Where a story takes place is also called
locale.
Atmosphere or mood is the element
that evokes certain feelings or emotion
in readers.
Physical Environment refers to all things or
characteristics that are discernible.
Sociological Environment refers to the
cultural, economic, and political attributes of a
place and its inhabitants.
Psychological Environment refers to the
personality of a placed used as the setting.
5. Conflict
- is an event, situation, or circumstances
that shakes up a stable situation; it is a
struggle between two opposing forces.
--External Conflict arises between the character
and an outside force. Examples are conflict against
and the forces of nature; conflict against other
characters; and conflict against society.
Man against Nature- struggle which positions
the protagonist against an animal or force of nature.
Man against Man- involves stories where
characters are pitted against each other.
Man against Society- involves stories where
man stands against a man-made institutions.
--Internal Conflict arises within the
character himself.
Man against Self- a struggle that
involves a character trying to overcome
his/her own nature or make a choice
between two or more paths.
6. Irony
- is a figure of speech in which words
are used to mean the opposite of
their actual meanings. An irony
presents a difference between the
appearance of the expectation and
the reality of the outcome.
Verbal Irony is used when a character says
what he or she does not actually mean.
Situational Irony occurs when, for instance, a
man chuckles at the misfortune of another, even
when the same misfortune befalls him.
Dramatic Irony, the characters are unaware of
the situation but the readers are not. In Romeo and
Juliet, the readers know much earlier that the
characters will die towards the end of the play.
7. Theme
Theme refers to the central idea, the
thesis, the message a story conveys,
or a generalization or an abstraction
from it.
To understand the theme of a story,
you may look carefully of the following:
a. Dramatic issue – a story has a dramatic
premise w/c sets its core dramatic issue.
The issue then moves toward resolution, w/c
sets up the fulfilment. It is the heart of a
story’s premise and revolves around human
needs.
b. Moral – it is what a story shows us- an
objective, universal truth that we were
unaware of before reading a story. We get
to realize that message are actually
important lessons in life.
c. Insight – is the capacity to gain an
accurate and deep intuitive understanding
of a person or thing.
Narrative Devices
Foreshadowing is the hint of what is about
to take place later. It also serves as a
signpost that gives the sensitive reader an
idea of what may happen in the story.
Symbol is a thing that suggests more than
its literal meaning. It is a concrete thing that
represents a something in abstract.
Mood – the attitude of the poet towards the
subject matter. It refers to the emotional and
intellectual attitudes of the author towards
his/her subject matter in a given literary work.
Tone - the attitude of the poet towards the
audience. It refers to the intellectual and
emotional attitudes of the poet towards his or
her intended audience

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Reading and writing fiction

  • 2. Fiction - A series of imagined facts which illustrates truths about human life. - Does not require the presentation of actual people and situations, but characters and incidents may be based on actual people and real life events.
  • 3. - One misconception about fiction is that it opposed to truth therefore considered false and untrue. But it does not all oppose the truth, because the situations, incidents and characters found in fiction are created to illustrate what may and can happen.
  • 4. Principal Types of Fiction 1. Short Story is a brief, artistic form of prose fiction which centers on a single main incident and intends to produce a single dominant impression. Economy, compression, and emphasis characterize the short story.
  • 5. 2. Novel is an extensive prose narrative, a book-length story written in prose usually comprising 75, 000 to 100, 000 words. Because of its length, the novel can develop more characters, a more complicated plot, more elaborate settings, and more themes.
  • 6. Different Genres of Fiction a. Fable – it is a brief story that offers some pointed statements of truth or explicitly states a moral. The characters in fables are anthropomorphized animals or natural forces, or animals or natural forces with human traits or characteristics. Ex. Aesop’s The Hare and the Tortoise
  • 7. b. Parable – it is a brief narrative with a realistic plot. It implicitly teaches a moral. The Holy bible is a rich source of timeless parables by Jesus Christ. Ex. The Parable of the Prodigal Son c. Tale – a tale contains strange and wonderful events without detailed characterization-the ones you read in fairy tales. It is also known as “yarn” which aims to reveal the marvellous rather than the character. Ex. Jack and the Beanstalk
  • 8. d. Romantic Fiction – it is a narrative that focuses on adventurous and daring actions. It is usually set in a remote time and place with a dashing hero who saves a beautiful maiden in distress. It often views life as optimistic and idealistic; thus it prefers a happy ending. Ex. Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility e. Realistic Fiction – the characters are ordinary men and women, like the people we encounter a daily basis- those with real issues realistically dealt with. Ex. Novels of Sinclair Lewis and the James.
  • 9. f. Naturalistic Fiction – it is also called extreme or ultra realism. Characters are portrayed as having little or no free will. Ex. Guy de Maupassant’s The Necklace g. Historical Novel – is a detailed reconstruction of life in another time and perhaps in another place. Recaptures the spirit and atmosphere of an age or era in the past. Ex. Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe
  • 10. h. Psychological Fiction – it transfers its setting from the outside world to the mind and the inner life of a character. The psychological novelist uses the method called “stream of consciousness” to externalize the thoughts, ideas, sensations, memories, impressions that rush through the mind w/o order or coherence. Ex. James Joyce’s Ulysses
  • 11. i. Science Fiction – it deals with futuristic concepts such as new world settings, futuristic science and technology, space and time travel, intergalactic warfare, extraterrestrial life, alien abduction and parallel universe. Ex. Michael Faber’s Under the Skin j. Non-realistic fiction – stories that have supernatural or magic elements which are classified under the genre of fantasy and even horror. Ex. Joyce Carol Oates’ The Accursed
  • 12. k. Nonfiction novel/ Fictionalized Account – also known as reconstructed biography, it is a novel based on the true story of real people and real life events. Ex. Truman Capote’s Cold Blood l. Epistolary Novel – it is an early form of fiction told in epistles or letters. Usually contain letters by only one character, but at times can also contain letters by several characters in the book. Ex. Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’s Dangerous Liaisons
  • 13. m. Bildungsroman/ Apprenticeship Novel – Bildungsroman is a German term for a “novel of growth or development”. It is a novel in which a youngster struggles toward maturity, seeking perhaps some consistent worldview or philosophy of life. Ex. Charles Dickens’s Great Expectation
  • 14. Elements of the Genre 1. Character 2. Point of View 3. Plot 4. Setting and Atmosphere 5. Conflict 6. Irony 7. Theme
  • 15. 1. Character - Is an imagined person who inhabits a story, but characters may also be based on real people whom the writer uses as a models. Characters are not limited to human beings. - It is the first essential ingredient in any successful story.
  • 16. Types of Characters 1. Stock characters or stereotyped characters - these are characters that require less- detailed portrayal. 2. Hero/Heroine - the hero is the good guy or leading male character who opposes the villain or the bad guy. The leading female character is the heroine. In most modern fiction, however, the lead character is just an ordinary human being like the rest of us.
  • 17. -It is also called antihero because he does not fit the traditional heroic mold. The antihero is a flawed character who is more than just a good guy. 3. Protagonist - It is an older and more neutral term than “hero” for the leading character which does not imply either the presence or the absence of outstanding virtue. The protagonist’s opponent is the antagonist.
  • 18. 4. Major or Main Characters - They are also called lead characters and we think of them as more complex than the minor characters, the other figures who appear in a story. 5. Foil - Serves as a contrast to the major character to highlight the particular qualities of the latter.
  • 19. 6. Flat Characters and Round Characters - Flat characters are stock characters or stereotypes who are somehow capable of advancing the plot, but require only the barest outlines of description. Round characters are usually the protagonist. They have more than just one trait. They are complex and at times complicated.
  • 20. 7. Static and Dynamic Characters - Static characters do not experience basic character changes through the course of the story. Dynamic characters experiences changes throughout the development of the story. A dynamic character may undergo sudden changes but these are usually expected based on the events of the story.
  • 21. Writing Tips How do you create a character? How do you bring your characters to life? 1. According to Lagos Egri, the author of The Art of Dramatic Writing, a writer must know the 3 dimensions of fictional characters: * Physical – refers to physical dimensions such as body type, health, clothing, and movement.
  • 22. * Sociological – refers to the character’s name, biographical details, social status, economic status, race and ethnicity, family members and relationships, residence, education, profession, and beliefs. * Psychological – refers to personality, speech patterns, attitudes toward self and others, hobbies and interests, talents, likes and dislikes, habits, dreams and ambitions, fears, sources of laughter, anger, worry or stress, his/her attitude toward the opposite sex, teachers, superiors, friends, competition, etc.
  • 23. 2. Provide details of the character’s past. 3. Imagine them like they are real people with emotions and contradictions to make them believable. 3. Show them in action.
  • 24. 2. Point of View - Refers to the narrator in the story, the vantage point from where readers observe the events of the story, or the writer’s special angle of vision, the one whose perspective is told. - Every story has a narrator, the teller of the story from whose eyes we look through as we read.
  • 25. When we read a story, there is always a viewer or speaker between us and the events that occur. This mediation involves focus and voice. Focus – functions like a camera; it is the frame through which characters, events, and other important details are viewed. Voice – refers to the words that embody the story.
  • 26. First person - In this point of view, the narrator is a participant in the action. It uses the pronoun “I” or “we”, and the narrator may be either a major character or a minor character who tells us directly his or her own version of the events of the story. - The first-person point of view is limited though in the sense that the reader can only know details and thoughts from the narrator, not from the other characters.
  • 27. Second Person - It is used to tell a story to another character with the word “You”. It is mostly told in the future tense. It creates an effect similar to conversational anecdotes. The reader may identify himself or herself as the person addressed by the writer. A writer uses this point of view to make the readers feel that they are part of the story and that they are character themselves.
  • 28. Third Person - It is the most common point of view and uses the pronouns “he” “she”, and “they”. It employs a nonparticipant narrator who can usually move from place to place to describe action and report dialogue. The author takes on the role of the narrator. The words “I”, “You” and “Me” only appear in dialogues.
  • 29. Two major types: 1. All-knowing Point of View sees into the minds of all characters, moving from one character to another when needed. The narrator knows everything about the characters, their past, their lives, their future, their innermost thoughts. The narrator even goes inside the heads of other characters to express their thoughts, observations, and feelings.
  • 30. -Note that in all-knowing point of view, the author, who knows everything, may express through the narrator occasional comments or opinions, which is known as editorial omniscience. - If the narrator comments directly on an action, he or she making an authorial intrusion which readers might find meddlesome.
  • 31. 2. Limited point of View, which is also called selective omniscience or central intelligence – a term introduced by Henry James-uses a major or minor character as the sole viewpoint character in the story. He/she is a nonparticipating narrator who witnesses events as they unfold.
  • 32. Narrative Devices Stream of Consciousness is a narrative technique intended to render the flow of myriad impressions-visual, auditory, physical, associative, and subliminal, as they occur in the narrator’s mind and not in a smooth, sequential, or flowing way. Interior monologue is device used by writers to make the character speak out loud like delivering a speech for the readers to overhear.
  • 33. 3. Plot Plot or plot structure is a sequence of events that “has a beginning, a middle, and an end”. It is a pattern of actions, events, and situations. Plot structure gives shape to the different parts of a story just like the framing of a house or the skeleton of the body.
  • 34. Climax Rising Action Falling Action Exposition Resolution
  • 35. a. Exposition- the writer introduces the characters, situation, and usually, the time and place of the narrative. You can begin a story in medias res (in the middle of things). b. Rising Action- the body of a story contains the conflict, where the rising action is built to introduce complications that are either external or internal.
  • 36. c. Climax and Falling Action - The central moment of crisis in a plot is the climax. It is the point greatest tension which initiates the falling action of the story.
  • 37. d. Resolution/Denouement is the final part of a plot. The French term denouement refers to untying of a knot. The denouement makes the characters return to a stable situation. It is the moment of insight, discovery, or revelation by which a character’s life, is greatly altered. It maybe closed or open.
  • 38. Closed Denouement ties up everything neatly and explains all unanswered questions that readers might have, just like in many mystery or detective stories. Open Denouement leaves the readers with a few thought-provoking loose ends.
  • 39. Some stories are simple and contain a single plot. However, there are also complex ones which involve longer periods of time. These plots are called modular or episodic plots.
  • 40. 4. Setting and Atmosphere Setting refers to the place and time where and when an events happens. Where a story takes place is also called locale. Atmosphere or mood is the element that evokes certain feelings or emotion in readers.
  • 41. Physical Environment refers to all things or characteristics that are discernible. Sociological Environment refers to the cultural, economic, and political attributes of a place and its inhabitants. Psychological Environment refers to the personality of a placed used as the setting.
  • 42. 5. Conflict - is an event, situation, or circumstances that shakes up a stable situation; it is a struggle between two opposing forces.
  • 43. --External Conflict arises between the character and an outside force. Examples are conflict against and the forces of nature; conflict against other characters; and conflict against society. Man against Nature- struggle which positions the protagonist against an animal or force of nature. Man against Man- involves stories where characters are pitted against each other. Man against Society- involves stories where man stands against a man-made institutions.
  • 44. --Internal Conflict arises within the character himself. Man against Self- a struggle that involves a character trying to overcome his/her own nature or make a choice between two or more paths.
  • 45. 6. Irony - is a figure of speech in which words are used to mean the opposite of their actual meanings. An irony presents a difference between the appearance of the expectation and the reality of the outcome.
  • 46. Verbal Irony is used when a character says what he or she does not actually mean. Situational Irony occurs when, for instance, a man chuckles at the misfortune of another, even when the same misfortune befalls him. Dramatic Irony, the characters are unaware of the situation but the readers are not. In Romeo and Juliet, the readers know much earlier that the characters will die towards the end of the play.
  • 47. 7. Theme Theme refers to the central idea, the thesis, the message a story conveys, or a generalization or an abstraction from it.
  • 48. To understand the theme of a story, you may look carefully of the following: a. Dramatic issue – a story has a dramatic premise w/c sets its core dramatic issue. The issue then moves toward resolution, w/c sets up the fulfilment. It is the heart of a story’s premise and revolves around human needs.
  • 49. b. Moral – it is what a story shows us- an objective, universal truth that we were unaware of before reading a story. We get to realize that message are actually important lessons in life. c. Insight – is the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing.
  • 50. Narrative Devices Foreshadowing is the hint of what is about to take place later. It also serves as a signpost that gives the sensitive reader an idea of what may happen in the story. Symbol is a thing that suggests more than its literal meaning. It is a concrete thing that represents a something in abstract.
  • 51. Mood – the attitude of the poet towards the subject matter. It refers to the emotional and intellectual attitudes of the author towards his/her subject matter in a given literary work. Tone - the attitude of the poet towards the audience. It refers to the intellectual and emotional attitudes of the poet towards his or her intended audience