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Fiction vs. Non Fiction: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Fiction refers to literature created from imagination, while non-fiction is based on real events, people, and facts.
Fiction vs. Non Fiction

Key Differences

Contrasts by presenting factual information, real-life events, or actual people in its narratives.
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Often characterized by its narrative and storytelling qualities, fiction explores imaginary scenarios. Non-Fiction: Prioritizes factual accuracy and real-world relevance, focusing on educating or informing the reader.
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Genres in fiction include fantasy, science fiction, and romance, all showcasing creative freedom. Non-Fiction: Includes genres like biography, history, and self-help, grounded in research and reality.
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Aims to entertain, provoke thought, or provide an escape through its imaginative content. Non-Fiction: Seeks to convey knowledge, facts, or personal experiences, often serving educational purposes.
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Can blend elements of truth and reality, but these are always subordinate to the overarching fictional narrative. Non-Fiction: Although it can use storytelling techniques, it remains tethered to factual and true accounts.
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Comparison Chart

Basis

Imagination and creativity
Real events, facts, and truth
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Purpose

Entertainment, thought-provocation
Education, information dissemination
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Characters

Often made-up or fictional
Real people, factual representation
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Genres

Fantasy, romance, sci-fi
Biography, history, documentary
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Style

Narrative, storytelling
Expository, descriptive, analytical
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Fiction and Non Fiction Definitions

Fiction

It is a creative form of writing not constrained by factual accuracy.
The fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien created a whole new world and mythology.
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Non Fiction

It can be presented in various formats, including essays, reports, and journals.
She wrote a non-fiction essay on the impacts of social media.
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Fiction

It often explores human experiences through imagined scenarios.
The fiction book used a fictional small town as a microcosm of society.
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Non Fiction

Non-fiction aims to inform or educate about real-life subjects.
The non-fiction article provided a detailed analysis of climate change.
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Fiction

Fiction is a genre of literature based on imaginary characters and events.
Her latest fiction novel explores a dystopian future.
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Non Fiction

It includes factual writing like biographies, history books, and documentaries.
His latest non-fiction work is a biography of a famous scientist.
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Fiction

Fiction can cross into multiple genres, including mystery, thriller, or fantasy.
Her love for fiction was evident in her vast collection of fantasy novels.
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Non Fiction

Non-fiction refers to content that presents facts and reality.
The non-fiction book on World War II offered detailed historical insights.
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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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Non Fiction

Non-fiction covers a range of topics from science to history, without fictional elements.
The non-fiction section of the library was her go-to for research materials.
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Fiction

Works in this category
The fiction of Virginia Woolf.
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Non Fiction

Alternative spelling of nonfiction
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Fiction

A work within this category
The shorter fictions of Faulkner.
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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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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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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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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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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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Fiction

(legal) A legal fiction.
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Fiction

The act of feigning, inventing, or imagining; as, by a mere fiction of the mind.
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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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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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Fiction

An assumption of a possible thing as a fact, irrespective of the question of its truth.
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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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Fiction

A literary work based on the imagination and not necessarily on fact
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Fiction

A deliberately false or improbable account
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Fiction

Fiction includes novels, short stories, and plays that tell made-up stories.
His fiction often blends reality with fantasy elements.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What defines non-fiction?

Non-fiction consists of factual and real-life subjects.
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Are novels always fiction?

Generally, yes, though some novels blend fictional narratives with historical facts.
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Do non-fiction works always tell the truth?

They aim to, but the interpretation and presentation can vary.
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How factual must non-fiction be?

It should be based on verifiable facts and real events.
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Can fiction be based on true stories?

Yes, but it still includes imaginary elements or alterations.
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Do fiction authors use real experiences?

Often, they draw inspiration from real life but add imaginative elements.
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Can non-fiction be creative?

Yes, through creative non-fiction which uses literary styles to tell true stories.
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Why read fiction?

For entertainment, emotional experience, and imagination.
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What is fiction?

Fiction is literature based on imaginary events and characters.
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Are autobiographies non-fiction?

Yes, as they are factual accounts of a person's life.
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Do non-fiction writers need to research?

Yes, thorough research is crucial for factual accuracy.
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What's the main goal of non-fiction?

To inform, educate, or provide factual insights.
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Is poetry considered fiction?

Poetry can be both fiction and non-fiction, depending on its content.
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Can fiction use real locations?

Yes, but the story and characters are usually made up.
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What's the main goal of fiction?

To entertain and engage the reader's imagination.
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Can non-fiction include personal opinions?

Yes, especially in memoirs or subjective accounts, but the factual basis remains.
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Can fiction teach about real-life?

Yes, through themes and human experiences, despite being imaginary.
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Is science fiction considered non-fiction?

No, it's a fictional genre based on imagined future scientific advancements.
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Is historical fiction considered non-fiction?

No, it's fiction set in a historically accurate background.
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Why read non-fiction?

For education, factual information, and real-life insights.
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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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