Difference Between Fiction and Nonfiction

“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.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Fiction is a literary genre that involves the creation of imaginary characters, events, or worlds; nonfiction encompasses works based on real events, people, or facts.
  2. Fiction includes novels, short stories, and other works that explore imagined experiences or situations; nonfiction covers a wide range of topics, such as history, biography, and science, presenting factual information or analysis.
  3. Both fiction and nonfiction are forms of literature. Still, fiction focuses on storytelling’s imaginative and creative aspects, while nonfiction aims to inform, educate, or persuade readers with accurate information and insights.

Fiction vs Nonfiction

The 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

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Fiction is a form of writing in which the author bases 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 accurate or based on real-life events. The stories being told here have happened or are based on factual events that have occurred in the past or might occur in the future.


Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFictionNonfiction
Type of WritingIt is a personal form of writing, meaning it is based on the 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 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.
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 impacted the world.
Information usedThe writer has no creative limits, so their work can be inspired by real-life events moulded by their imagination.The writer must ensure that all the information mentioned is genuine and that nothing is made up.
Responsibility to readerThe writer holds no responsibility here and wishes to push the reader’s creative boundaries ad limits.The writer must ensure the information is factual, as they hold all responsibility and liability.
ExamplesWritten works such as poems, short stories, novels, and plays.Journal articles, Blog accounts, newspapers legal documents are all nonfiction works.


What is Fiction?

Fiction is a term used to describe written works based on the writer’s imagination and artistic sense. All the facts and details 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 the writer puts into words is their ideology and opinions, which manifests into a creative storyline made for the reader’s delight. A writer can also use parts of real-life events in his work, 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 accounts.

Fiction is usually written for the reader’s pleasure and entertainment and to help them push the limits of the imagination. A writer here has no responsibility to provide facts and uses his creative licence to help the reader have a good time.

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


What is Nonfiction?

Nonfiction is used for written works 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 worldwide is considered nonfiction. The author is responsible when providing information through their written work to the reader and has to ensure that everything they publish is factually accurate.

If even a few details are fabricated, it will incorrectly affect the writer’s credibility. There are interesting points to be noted that pose some form of contradictions regarding whether the works are nonfiction or fiction.

For example, a newspaper is a nonfiction work, but sometimes some stories have been fabricated and faked 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 using actual 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 who uses fiction is not responsible for being credible in his work, while a nonfiction writer does.
  5. Works of fiction include sonnets, plays, short stories, and poems. Nonfiction write-ups include newspapers, journalistic blogs, articles, and legal documents.
Difference Between Fiction and Nonfiction

  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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