Need Help?

Get in touch with us


Comparing Texts – Fiction and Nonfiction

Grade 8
Aug 30, 2022

It can be challenging to detect the difference between fiction and nonfiction for writers and readers. In general, fiction refers to plots, settings, and characters based on the author’s imagination, whereas nonfiction refers to accurate accounts of real people and events. However, because these two genres frequently overlap, their distinction can be obscured. 

Before we continue, it’s crucial to know that fiction and nonfiction can both be used in any medium (film, television, plays, etc.).  

Take, for example, the visual medium. There are movies, and then there are documentaries. While movies rely heavily on plots and characters, documentaries are always based on some real incidents that are narrated firsthand by people who have taken part in them.   

But in this session, we will be solely concentrating on the distinction between fiction and nonfiction in literature. 


Fiction is created by the author and is based on his or her imagination. Fiction includes short stories, novels, myths, legends, and fairy tales. While fictional settings, narrative ideas, and characters are sometimes based on real-life events or persons, authors use them as starting points for their stories. 


Many of Stephen King’s writings and books, for example, are set in the fictional town of Derry, Maine. Although Derry is not a real location, it is modeled on King’s hometown of Bangor. King has even designed a topography for Derry that is based on Bangor’s genuine terrain. 

Furthermore, science fiction and fantasy works set in imagined realms frequently draw inspiration from the real world. N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth series is an example of this, in which she uses real science and geological study to create a convincing universe. 

To heighten suspense and complicate the plot, fiction frequently employs specific narrative techniques, such as the use of rich, evocative sensory detail; different pacing tempos of dramatic and non-dramatic events; the juxtaposition of summarized narrative and dramatized scenes; the temporary delay and withholding of story information as well as the sophisticated use of language to describe events and portray human consciousness. 


Nonfiction, on the other hand, is factual and based on true events. Nonfiction includes histories, biographies, journalism, and essays. Nonfiction is usually held to a higher level than fiction as it has some ethics to uphold. A few smatterings of truth in a work of fiction do not make it true, yet a few fabrications in a nonfiction work can render the story untrustworthy. 

When it was discovered that James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces, had fabricated the majority of his memoir, he was thrown out of Oprah’s Book Club in 2006. 


Nonfiction, on the other hand, frequently employs many of the strategies used in fiction to make it more appealing. Because Capote’s descriptions and detailing of events are so vivid and evocative, In Cold Blood is widely recognized as one of the best works of nonfiction to dramatically blur the line between fiction and nonfiction. However, this has raised doubts regarding his account’s validity. 

This has spawned a new genre known as creative nonfiction, which employs fiction techniques to report on true occurrences. The term refers to how fiction authors, playwrights, and poets utilize literary art to deliver nonfiction—factually accurate prose about real people and events—in a fascinating, vivid, and dramatic way. The idea is to make nonfiction stories read as if they were fiction so that your audience is as intrigued by reality as they are by fantasy. 

Although it might be difficult to distinguish between fiction and nonfiction, especially in the hands of a competent author, here’s the bottom line: if it reports the truth, it is nonfiction. It’s fiction if it deviates from the truth. 

Fiction and NonFiction
Comparing Text


Related topics


Exploring the World of Adjectives: Types, Usage, and Examples

What are Parts of Speech? Parts of speech determine words’ grammatical and semantic position in a sentence. Activity time The parts of speech are nouns, adverbs, conjunctions, pronouns, interjections, adjectives, articles, prepositions, and verbs. Identify the parts of speech of the underlined words in the following sentences. White- Adjective Big- Adjective    Exciting- Adjectives New- […]

Memoir writing

Memoir Writing: Basic Elements, Structures, and Types

Memoir: A memoir is a narrative written from an author’s perspective about a particular facet of his/her own life. ‘Memoir’ word comes from the French word ‘memoire’, which means ‘memory’ or ‘reminiscence’. Example Night: Elie Wiesel gives an account of how he survived his teenage years at Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps during World War […]

Identifying the main idea

Identification of Main Idea in Fiction and Non-fiction

Every story or paragraph or non-fictional text has at least one main idea. The MAIN IDEA is what the text is mostly about. (It is backed up or supported by SUPPORTING DETAILS) Before discussing how to find the main idea, we shall first look at TOPIC. Can you define a topic? A topic can be […]

Writing an Article

Writing an Article: Structure and Essential Tips

What is an article? Structure of Article Writing : Title : Draw the attention of readers with an attractive title and indicate the main topic of the article Introduction : Attract the reader’s attention with a sentence that gives a general presentation of the topic. Main Body : Between these sentences, the body should do […]


Other topics