Fiction uses imaginative storytelling to create a tale that transports the reader into a
created world and asks him to indulge in it without questioning its veracity. It can be
anything from of writing like novels, short stories, plays, comics, animations, games etc.
Here are the various characteristics of Fiction:
Theme is the controlling idea or message of a fiction story. It is the thread the binds all
the characters to the setting and the plotline. The theme woven uses the plot as an organ
to convey it.
Theme does not have to be the purpose of the story or a moral lesson and can be bizarre
but constant and consistent throughout the story.
It should be universally impactful and must account for all other details of the story. It
cannot be contradicted within the confines of the story.
Even though the theme is not stated and in often hidden every other detail must
conform to it.
It is different from a symbol which represent individual a part of the story and a motif
which is a narrative device that is repeated throughout story.
The various themes can be love, truth, war, violence, revenge, tragedy, adulthood, etc.
Characters are the various persons or animals taking part in the story. They act as prime
movers to carry forward the plot.
They form the footing for the plot. It is the circumstance of the characters and their
interaction with other characters and setting of the story determines the propulsion of
any story. Their experiences can be portrayed emotionally and mentally similar to the
readers’ or audiences’ natural emotions to make them suspend their power to disbelieve.
A good characterization exercise requires solid back story of the characters in order to
make the audiences understand the thoughts and actions of the characters.
The design of character arcs and how the characters progress through the story is crucial
to pique the interest of the readers or audiences.
Some examples of characters in a fictional story are the protagonist (central character),
the antagonist (agent/force against the protagonist), the anti-hero (the main object of
sympathy from the audiences) etc.
Some character are well rounded and complex while others are flat and predictable
Plot is the blueprint of the story or the sequence of events in it. Its structure is ordered
and organized and shapes the story.
The plot usually begins with an exposition or introduction. This is done to establish the
setting and its characters. It is followed by a rise in action usually a conflict. A conflict
even if it is an internal struggle with emotions etc, is quintessential for a good story.
Then we move to the climax or the inflection point. The tension is maximum at this
turning point in the story. Everything hangs in the balance and the emotions are
running high. It is the most critical part of the plot.
It is followed by a fall in action as things slow down. Tension dissipated and the final
resolution is close. Finally, the resolution is attained. It can be sad, happy or even
There are various techniques that are used to construct plots like foreshadowing,
flashback, suspense and telescoping.
Some important element of a plot are conflict or disruption of equilibrium (Human vs.
Human, Human vs. Environment, Human vs. Self, Human vs. Fate), suspense (why
something is happening in the story), mystery (unexpected circumstances) etc.
It is the voice of the author or writer. It refers to the way words, expressions; emotions,
timing, and mood are utilized by the writer to create a believable fictional environment
in the story.
The word diction is used to represent the signature style a write incorporates in his
work. It comprises of different devices like vocabulary and the kinds of words used
(simple words, complex words abstract words, words representing tangible objects etc),
syntactical arrangement and placement of various words, pattern of flow and rhythm of
the text (length and composition of sentences, punctuation etc.)
The writing also involves the acuteness and intelligence of the writer. It can be overly
dramatic, hostile, rebellious, sinister, brave, bitter, optimistic or even humorous,
depending on the instinctive writing style of the author. It helps to engross the
reader/viewer in the created mood or the feeling encouraged by the evocative and
expressive words of the writer.
It is a multi-faceted term which gives information about where, when and how the
action happens in a fictional story.
It can be the description of the physical environment, time of the action, cultural,
historical and social circumstances of the action.
A writer can use various devices to create details about the setting like clothing,
transportation, communication (explicit or gestural). Information about psychology,
philosophy education, religion, etc of the character can make the setting pivotal in
engaging with the readers.
Authenticity and accessibility of the various details of the setting can make or break any
work of fiction.
Creating the setting or building the World for your characters to explore and experience
becomes pivotal in making the readers immerse in the made up environment of any
5-Point of View
It represents the voice that is telling the story. It offers the angle to look at the subject
and the setting of the story. The perspective is generally in first person or third person
(second person is very rare).
In the first person POV, the writer becomes one of the characters. He gives his own
insights and uses pronouns “I” or “we”. The first-person is intimate and brings a quality
of personal knowledge of the events to the text. It is also very recent and immediate.
The perspective or POV can also be in third person who has omniscient knowledge
about characters and the action in the story like a view point of a character in the
narrator. It can also be from the POV of a character in the story and incorporated
his/her knowledge and opinions of other characters. Third person POV gives a bird’s-
eye view of the story and its multiple characters. It is less intimate and a bit slower but it
gives the possibility to assess consequences of actions.
POV or the storyteller’s voice determines things like tense and how much the reader gets
to see. The narration could also be in different tenses from present tense, past tense, and
future tense (very rare).