Difference Between Fiction and Nonfiction

The terms “Fiction” and “Nonfiction” are associated with how books, blogs or articles are written. Authors use either writing styles to convey their stories or to relay meaningful information to the reader.

Fiction vs Nonfiction

The main difference between fiction and nonfiction writing is that the former is based on non-existent and invalid facts, while the latter is based on actual and real-life events.

Fiction vs Nonfiction

Fiction is a form of writing in which the author is basing their story or article on something imaginative or made up. There is no real-life truth behind it.

Nonfiction is a form of writing where the information conveyed is real or based on real-life events. The stories being told here have happened or are based on factual events that have taken place in the past or might take place in the future.


Comparison Table Between Fiction and Nonfiction (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of ComparisonFictionNonfiction
Type of writingIt is a subjective form of writing, meaning it is based on personal opinions and emotions of the writer.It is an objective form of writing, which means it is based on evidence and facts.
DefinitionWhen something is written in fiction, it means that it is based on the writer’s imagination and creative license.When something is written using nonfiction, it is all based on real-life and authentic events that have transpired in the world.
PurposeWritten work based on fiction is generally for entertainment and pleasure, or to convey information in an ironic sense.Works based on nonfiction convey meaningful information or events that have made some impact in the world.
Information usedThe writer has no creative limits, so their work can be inspired by real-life events which are moulded with their imagination.The writer must make sure that all the information mentioned is genuine, and nothing is made up.
Responsibility to readerThe writer holds no responsibility here and just wishes to push the reader’s creative boundary ad limits.The writer must make sure that the information conveyed is factual, as they hold all responsibility and liability.
ExamplesWritten works such as poems, short stories, novels, plays.Journal articles, Blog accounts, newspapers legal documents are all works of nonfiction.


What is Fiction?

Fiction is a term used to describe written works that are based on the imagination and artistic sense of the writer. All the facts and details present in it have been made up and are non-existent.

The first time a work of fiction was ever written and published was during the late 1100s. Specifically, during the 1170s, a Frenchman by the name of Chrétien de Troyes had published a book about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Everything that the writer puts into words is their ideology and opinions, which manifests into a creative storyline made for the delight of the reader. A writer can use parts of real-life events in his work as well, or his writing can be inspired by something that has taken place in the real world.

The writer then uses that information to form a story with the help of his imagination. They can create characters that do not exist or incorporate real-life people into their story as well.

Works of fiction usually are written for pleasure and entertainment of the reader, and to help them push the limits of the imagination. A writer here has no responsibility of providing real facts and just uses his creative licence to help the reader have a good time.

Many written works come under the category of fiction, such as poems, short stories, fiction novels, sonnets, plays, etc.


What is Nonfiction?

Nonfiction is used for written works that are based on valid and actual events. Here anything that the writer incorporates has to be accurate and factual.

The origin of nonfiction work can never be dated as every form of information circulated in the world is considered as nonfiction. The author holds all responsibility when providing information through their written work to the reader and has to make sure that everything they publish is factually accurate.

If even a few details are fabricated, it will affect the credibility of the writer in the wrong way. There are interesting points to be noted that pose some form of contradictions when it comes to whether the works are nonfiction or fiction.

For example, a newspaper is a work of nonfiction, but sometimes some stories have been fabricated and faked in order to gain popularity. Other works that come under nonfiction are – journal articles, online news articles, legal papers and documents handled by law firms.


Main Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction

  1. Fiction is a subjective form of writing. Nonfiction is a purely objective-based form of writing.
  2. Fiction is the art of using one’s imagination and creativity while writing. Nonfiction is the form of using realistic events and facts to convey information in a written format.
  3. Works of fiction are written for the pleasure and entertainment of the reader, while nonfiction work is written to help the reader gain knowledge or information about worldly events.
  4. A writer that uses fiction holds no responsibility of being credible regarding his work, while a writer of nonfiction work does.
  5. Works of fiction include sonnets, plays, short stories, and poems. Nonfiction write-ups include newspapers, journalistic blogs and articles, and even legal documents.
Difference Between Fiction and Nonfiction



The art of using either fiction or nonfiction has been used for the past millennia by many authors and writers. Fiction allows a writer to explore the world of creativity and use their imagination to entice the audience.

Nonfiction work enables the writer to convey factual information to the reader, and everything written is true, and all the characters involved exist in the real world. There is a fine line between fiction and nonfiction, and the writer uses their creative licence to play with that line.

If something is purely nonfiction, the writer must abide by the truth, but if its fictional work, then they can make up their truth.


  1. http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson-docs/262-camp.pdf
  2. https://muse.jhu.edu/article/243888/summary
  3. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ410386
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