• A.S.Ford

Story Forms In All Their Glory

Hey, there! This week I've broken down a list of story, or narrative, forms to show just how varied stories can be and that there are many different ways to write a story. Many of these forms could even be combined to create a more unique or interesting story form.

Autobiography - account of a person's life written by that person

Bildungsroman - novel about a person's formative years (e.g. a coming-of-age novel)

Biography - account of a person's life by another person

Captivity Narrative - account of kidnapping [...] of persons, usually women, taken by long journeys into the wilderness

Chapter book - [once written for the adult masses, chapter books are now usually] a children's book, typically a work of fiction, of moderate length and complexity, divided into chapters

Comic - magazine containing strip cartoons

Dramatic Monologue - a first-person, confessional style [poem ...] creating intimacy with the reader through direct address. Characters in dramatic monologues often teeter on the verge of madness or delusion

Epic - long poem, book, or film about heroic events or actions

Fable - story with a moral; false or fictitious account

Fairy Tale - story about fairies or magic; unbelievable story or explanation

Flash Fiction - [also known as microfiction] a piece of flash fiction is a short short story - usually less than a thousand words long

Folk Tale - derive from oral traditions of storytelling. They are associated with peasant stories passed down the generations in pre-literate societies

Gothic - [refers] to literary developments in the mid- to late eighteenth century that combined an interest in the chivalric Romance stories of medieval times and the savage barbarism of the Dark Ages

Life Writing - an umbrella term to cover such literary and literary/non-fiction forms as biography, autobiography, memoir, creative non-fiction, narrative non-fiction and atuo-fiction. Elsewhere, such a collection might come under the heading 'writing the self'

Legend - traditional story or myth; traditional literature; famous person or event; stories about such a person or event

Memoir - biography or historical account based on personal knowledge

Myth - tale with supernatural characters, usu of how the world and mankind began; untrue idea or explanation; imaginary person or object

News - important or interesting new happenings; information about such events reported in the mass media

Non-Linear Narrative - a narrative technique where events are portrayed out of chronological order or the logical order presented in the story [...] can also be known as a disjointed narrative or disrupted narrative

Novel - long fictitious story in book from (usually between 50,000 and 100,000 words)

Novella - short novel (usually between 10,000 and 40,000 words)

Parable - story that illustrates a religious teaching

Penny Dreadful - 19th-century publishing phenomena [... that were] cheap, sensational, highly illustrated stories [...] Issued weekly, each 'number', or episode, was eight (occasionally 16) pages long

Play - story perforned on stage or broadcast

Poem - imginative piece of writing in rhythmic lines

Short story - a piece of fiction between 1,000 and 10,000 words long

Screenplay - a script for a film or television show

Tall tale - [also known as a tall story] unlikely and probably untrue tale

Travel Writing - travel places the traveller amongst 'strange' characters in unfamiliar landscapes and forces them to re-address their own values and prejudices [...] In recent years, travel writing has often been more explicitly understood as [...] a way for the author to explore questions of personal identity


*All definitions taken from Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus (2005 version), from New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors (also 2005 edition), from Key Concepts in Creative Writing by Matt Morrison (2010 edition), or on the websites: https://literaryterms.net/glossary-of-literary-terms/, ://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095548418, https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/chapter-book, https://nofilmschool.com/nonlinear-narrative-definition-examples, https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/penny-dreadfuls, https://screenwriting.io/what-is-a-screenplay/ unless stated otherwise*


Next week is for the letter C and literary terms associated with it. How many will you know? See you then!

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