a. A novel
It is along work of narrative fiction normally in prose, and typically published as a book. The novel is also a type of prose; which is a long narrative that describes fictional characters and events in form of a story. A novel contains many characters, conflicts, themes and sub–themes, making the plot much more complicated than other forms of shorter fictional prose. The language of novels is highly figurative and emotive because the writer’s interest must be sustained for a long time. Divisions in a novel are called chapters and the length of these will vary from novel to novel.
√ Weep Not Child by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
√ African Child by Camara Laye
√ A Man of the People by Chinua Achebe
√ Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
√ Mine Boy by Peter Abrahams
Features of a novel
> The novel is a piece of fiction. It depicts imaginary characters and situations. It may, however, contain references to real events and people, but this is, in most cases, disguised. Therefore, it is important to note that though its characters and actions are imaginary, these characters and events bear a close resemblance to real life.
> The novel is written in prose form rather than verse. Even though, some novels may contain some poetic elements, it is important to note that much of the novel remains in prose form. This means that as opposed to poetry, the novel is not structured in the form of stanzas. It has sentences that run on, one after the other to form paragraphs.
>The novel is a narrative. It comprises telling rather than acting the story out. This is the aspect that distinguishes it from drama.
> A novel comprises characters whose actions are woven in a plot. In fact, a novel comprises people who do things in a given context created by the author. The characters’ actions are arranged in a logical order of cause and effect. The author ensures the reader understands why or what causes characters behave to the way they do.
> The novel is of considerable length. This is because it focuses on an issue that it investigates in order to arrive at a way of interpreting it. Many critics agree that anything shorter than thirty pages can be classified as a short story. A story that is about thirty to one hundred pages is referred to as a novella, while anything above one hundred pages a novel.
b. A novella
A novella is a short novel. It is a written, fictional, prose narrative normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel. It is also a short novel or a long short story.
√ Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
√ The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
√ Animal Farm by George Orwell
√ The Pearl by John Steinbeck
√ A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens
> A novella is shorter than a full-length novel. It is about 60 to 120 pages, or 7,500 to 40,000 words in length. It can be read in a sitting.
> Usually, a novella has fewer conflicts and subplots. The main narrative does not veer off into complicated back stories, multiple points of view and meandering plot lines.
> Novellas are sometimes not divided into chapters.
> A novella comprises a single event concentrated on one character or just a few characters.
c. Short story
It is a brief fictional work of narrative prose that is shorter than a novella, or a fictional prose narrative that is shorter than a novella. It is also an invented prose narrative shorter than a novel usually dealing with few characters and aiming at unity of effect and often concentrating on the creation of mood rather than plot.
√ The Boy Who Cried Wolf by Aesop
√ Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Wilhelm Grimm and Jacob Grimm
√ When the Sun Goes Down by Goro wa Kamau.
√ The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde.
√ The Magic Shop by H.G. Wells.
> The short story is shorter than the novel and the novella.
> Because of its short length, the short story usually has only one conflict or problem. This makes its plot less complicated than the plot of the novel.
> The short story will mostly have only one setting (that is the place in which the story is set).
> The short story covers a shorter period of time. Novels can span many days, months and years.
> The short story tends to focus on one main character.
> Short stories have fewer characters than novels.
d. Fairy tale
> It is a story about magic and legendary deeds.
> It is a children’s story involving magical events, imaginary creatures and lands.
> It is a story usually for children, about dwarfs, dragons, elves, fairies, witches, giants, or other magical creatures.
√ The Frog Prince by Paul Friedrich
√ The Elves and Shoemaker by Brothers Grimm
√ Cinderella by Brothers Grimm
√ The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen
> Set in the past
> Use some form or variation of “Once upon a time”
> Fantasy or make-believe elements
> Enchanted setting – can include forests, castles, water or kingdoms
> Clearly defined good and evil characters
> Magical elements
>Characters take on unusual forms (giants, witches, dwarfs, talking animals)
> Groups of 3 (objects, people or events)
> Clearly defined problem, climax and resolution
> Most often they have a happy ending
>Teach a lesson that is important to the culture it came from.
> It is a short story that features animals and conveys a specific moral lesson.
> It is a short story, typically with animals as characters, conveying a moral.
> It is a short story, typically with animals as characters, conveying a moral.
> It is a short tale to teach a moral lesson, often with animals or inanimate objects as characters.
> It is a short fictional story that features animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature, and leads to a particular moral lesson.
√ The Fox and the Crow by Aesop
√ The Tortoise and the Hare by Aesop
√ The Lion and the Mouse by Aesop
√ The Fox and the Grapes by Aesop
Features of a fable
>A fable is intended to provide a moral story.
> Fables often use animals as the main characters.
> Fables personify the animal or inanimate characters.
> Fables often have a humorous tone when showing the foolishness of human nature.
It is an account (story) of a person’s life written by someone else. A biography/bio is simply an account or detailed description about a person’s life. It involves more than just the basic facts like as childhood, education, career, relationships, family, and death. It portrays a person’s experience of these life events. A biography presents a subject’s life story, highlighting various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of the subject’s personality.
The majority of biographies are written about famous people, such as politicians, actors, athletes, and so on. However, some biographies can be written about people who lived incredible lives, but were not necessarily well-known. A biography can be labelled “authorized” if the person being written about, or his or her family members, have given permission for a certain author to write the biography.
√ Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
√ Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.
√ Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.
√ Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.
√ The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
It is a story of the author’s own life written by him or a self-written account of the life of oneself. Autobiography is one type of biography, which tells a life story of its author, meaning it is a written record of the author’s life.
In an autobiography, the author attempts to capture important elements of his life. He not only deals with his career, and growth as a person, but also uses emotions and facts related to family life, relationships, education, travels, sexuality, and any types of inner struggles.
√ Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
√ Family Life at the White House by Bill Clinton
√ The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
√ The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
A record (originally in handwriting) with discrete entries arranged by date reporting on what happened over the course of the day or other period. It is also a daily record of personal activities, reflections, or feelings. A diary can also be a book in which you record your thoughts or feelings or what has happened each day.
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