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Fiction vs. Fantasy: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on January 11, 2024
Fiction refers to literature created from the imagination, not necessarily real, while fantasy is a subgenre of fiction that involves supernatural or magical elements.
Fiction vs. Fantasy

Key Differences

Fiction encompasses any narrative work where events and characters are partly or wholly imaginary. It's a broad category that includes many genres, including fantasy. Fantasy, on the other hand, specifically refers to fiction that contains elements of magic, mythology, or the supernatural.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024
While all fiction deviates from reality, it often maintains a semblance of the real world. Fantasy, however, deliberately breaks away from reality, introducing elements that are impossible or highly improbable in the real world, like magical powers or mythical creatures.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024
Fiction aims to entertain, educate, or provoke thought, often relating to real human experiences, even if the settings or characters are imagined. Fantasy specifically appeals to the imagination, often creating entirely new worlds and rules, and can be enjoyed by all age groups for its escapism.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024
Fiction can explore a range of themes from the mundane to the complex, often focusing on human nature, society, and relationships. Fantasy, while also exploring these themes, often incorporates quests, good versus evil battles, and hero journeys, making it a rich ground for allegory and symbolism.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024
Both fiction and fantasy have numerous subgenres. Fiction includes historical, science fiction, thriller, etc., each with its own conventions. Fantasy has its own subgenres like high fantasy, urban fantasy, etc., each presenting unique elements of the fantastical.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Imaginative narrative not strictly bound by reality.
Fiction with magical, supernatural elements.
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Jan 11, 2024

Realism

Can be realistic or wholly imaginative.
Often features unrealistic, magical elements.
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Jan 11, 2024

Setting

Any setting, real or imagined.
Often in imaginary worlds with unique rules.
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Jan 11, 2024

Character Types

Humans, real or imagined; occasionally non-human.
Often includes mythical creatures and beings.
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Themes

Broad, including everyday life to complex issues.
Frequently centers on good vs. evil, heroism.
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Jan 11, 2024
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Fiction and Fantasy Definitions

Fiction

Fiction depicts imaginary events and characters.
The novel created a captivating world with its fictional characters.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Fantasy

Characters in fantasy often possess supernatural powers or abilities.
In the fantasy series, the hero discovers his magical powers.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Fiction

Fiction is literature that does not represent real events.
She enjoys reading fiction to escape from the everyday reality.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Fantasy

Fantasy provides an escape from the real world into the realm of the imagination.
He reads fantasy novels to escape into a world of wonder.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Fiction

Fiction encompasses a wide range of genres and themes.
The library's fiction section has everything from romance to sci-fi.
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Dec 20, 2023
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Fantasy

The creative imagination; unrestrained fancy.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

Fiction serves as a medium for artistic expression and storytelling.
Through her fiction, the author explores complex social themes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Fantasy

Something, such as an invention, that is a creation of the fancy.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

Fiction involves creating stories from the author's imagination.
His talent for fiction writing won him several awards.
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Dec 20, 2023

Fantasy

A capricious or fantastic idea; a conceit.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

The category of literature, drama, film, or other creative work whose content is imagined and is not necessarily based on fact.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

A genre of fiction or other artistic work characterized by fanciful or supernatural elements.
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Fiction

Works in this category
The fiction of Virginia Woolf.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

A work of this genre.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

A work within this category
The shorter fictions of Faulkner.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

An imagined event or sequence of mental images, such as a daydream, usually fulfilling a wish or psychological need.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

Narrative, explanatory material, or belief that is not true or has been imagined or fabricated
The notion that he was at the scene of the crime is pure fiction.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

An unrealistic or improbable supposition.
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Fiction

A narrative, explanation, or belief that may seem true but is false or fabricated
"Neutrality is a fiction in an unneutral world" (Howard Zinn).
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Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

(Music) See fantasia.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

(Law) A verbal contrivance that is in some sense inaccurate but that accomplishes a purpose, as in the treatment of husband and wife as one person or a corporation as an entity.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

A coin issued especially by a questionable authority and not intended for use as currency.
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Fiction

(literature) Literary type using invented or imaginative writing, instead of real facts, usually written as prose.
I am a great reader of fiction.
The fiction section of the library
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

(Obsolete) A hallucination.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

A verbal or written account that is not based on actual events (often intended to mislead).
The company’s accounts contained a number of blatant fictions.
The butler’s account of the crime was pure fiction.
Separate the fact from the fiction
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

Relating to or being a game in which participants act as owners of imaginary sports teams whose personnel consists of actual players selected from a professional sports league and team performance is determined by the combined statistics of the players.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

(legal) A legal fiction.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

To imagine; visualize.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

The act of feigning, inventing, or imagining; as, by a mere fiction of the mind.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

That which comes from one's imagination.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

That which is feigned, invented, or imagined; especially, a feigned or invented story, whether oral or written. Hence: A story told in order to deceive; a fabrication; - opposed to fact, or reality.
The fiction of those golden apples kept by a dragon.
When it could no longer be denied that her flight had been voluntary, numerous fictions were invented to account for it.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

(literature) The literary genre generally dealing with themes of magic and the supernatural, imaginary worlds and creatures, etc.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

Fictitious literature; comprehensively, all works of imagination; specifically, novels and romances.
The office of fiction as a vehicle of instruction and moral elevation has been recognized by most if not all great educators.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

A fantastical design.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

An assumption of a possible thing as a fact, irrespective of the question of its truth.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

(slang) The drug gamma-hydroxybutyric acid.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

Any like assumption made for convenience, as for passing more rapidly over what is not disputed, and arriving at points really at issue.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

To fantasize (about).
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

A literary work based on the imagination and not necessarily on fact
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

(obsolete) To have a fancy for; to be pleased with; to like.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fiction

A deliberately false or improbable account
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

(transitive) To imagine; to conceive mentally.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

Fancy; imagination; especially, a whimsical or fanciful conception; a vagary of the imagination; whim; caprice; humor.
Is not this something more than fantasy ?
A thousand fantasiesBegin to throng into my memory.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

Fantastic designs.
Embroidered with fantasies and flourishes of gold thread.
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Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

To have a fancy for; to be pleased with; to like; to fancy.
Which he doth most fantasy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

Imagination unrestricted by reality;
A schoolgirl fantasy
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Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

Fiction with a large amount of fantasy in it;
She made a lot of money writing romantic fantasies
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

Something many people believe that is false;
They have the illusion that I am very wealthy
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

Fantasy

Fantasy is a genre of fiction that involves magic and the supernatural.
Her favorite fantasy novel features wizards and dragons.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 20, 2023

Fantasy

Fantasy often takes place in entirely imagined worlds.
The book transported readers to a fantasy world of epic adventures.
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Dec 20, 2023

Fantasy

Fantasy frequently includes mythical or legendary creatures.
The fantasy story was filled with elves and goblins.
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Dec 20, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is Fiction?

Fiction is literature created from imagination, not necessarily based on fact.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Can Fantasy be Realistic?

While rooted in the supernatural, fantasy can incorporate realistic elements.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Can Fiction be Non-Narrative?

Fiction is primarily narrative but can include non-narrative forms like poetry.
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Jan 11, 2024

Can Fiction Teach Real-Life Lessons?

Yes, fiction often reflects on human experiences and lessons.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

What is Fantasy?

Fantasy is a fiction genre involving magical or supernatural elements.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Is All Fantasy Fiction?

Yes, fantasy is a subgenre of fiction.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

How Do Authors Create Fantasy Worlds?

Through imagination and often detailed world-building.
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Jan 11, 2024

Are Fairy Tales Fantasy?

Yes, most fairy tales are considered part of the fantasy genre.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Is Fiction Limited to Books?

No, fiction includes movies, TV shows, games, etc.
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Jan 11, 2024

What Makes a Good Fantasy Story?

Engaging characters, imaginative setting, compelling plot, and often, elements of magic.
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Jan 11, 2024

Is Science Fiction the Same as Fantasy?

No, science fiction often involves technology and future settings, while fantasy involves magic and the supernatural.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Are Superheroes Considered Fantasy?

Yes, superhero stories typically fall under the fantasy genre.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Why Do People Read Fantasy?

For escapism, entertainment, and to experience imaginative worlds.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Do Fiction and Fantasy Overlap?

Yes, fantasy is a specific type of fiction.
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Jan 11, 2024

What is Magical Realism?

A genre blending realistic narrative with magical elements, often seen in both fiction and fantasy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Does Fantasy Have to Include Magic?

Typically, but some fantasy focuses on other supernatural elements.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Can Fiction be Educational?

Yes, it can offer insights into human nature and society.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

How is Fiction Different from Non-Fiction?

Fiction is based on imagination, while non-fiction deals with facts and real events.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Are Myths and Legends Considered Fantasy?

They are precursors to modern fantasy but are often categorized separately.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

Can Fiction Be Based on True Stories?

Yes, but with imaginative embellishments.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 11, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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