Prose fiction

There are different types of fiction texts, the main types are:

Fiction texts have a creative element to them and tend to use literary devices. Within each type of fiction, there are different genres. For example, there are different genres of prose fiction:

  • science fiction (or sci-fi)
  • historical fiction
  • romance fiction
  • Bildungsroman

Science fiction is a genre of prose fiction that mostly relies upon the writer’s imagination. For example, a science fiction text could be about scientific changes in a future world that the writer has made up. Science fiction writers like Aldous Huxley and Philip K Dick, created dystopian futures in their prose fiction.

Some prose fiction is based on real events - an example of this would be a historical fiction novel. The writer uses historical research to create a story rather than using their own life experiences, but they also use their imagination to make the story come alive.

Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall (2009) is an example of historical fiction. This novel is based on real people and historical events in the court of Henry VIII, but Hilary Mantel also uses her imagination to decide how these characters would feel and behave.

Here are some celebrated fiction writers from the 20th and 21st century:

  • George Orwell - best known for his dystopian novels 1984 and Animal Farm. His prose fiction could also be defined by its focus on the themes of politics and power.
  • Ian McEwan - known for his prose fiction in the realist genre.
  • Zadie Smith - a writer that resists writing in a particular genre. Her novel NW is set in multi-cultural, modern day London and could be seen to have elements of realist and thriller fiction.
  • Margaret Attwood - likes to experiment with genre and has written both science fiction and crime fiction prose.
  • Andrea Levy - writes literary fiction with narratives that are often told by a range of different characters and frequently deal with the theme of migration. Her novel Small Island explores the link between place and identity.