List of narrative forms
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Narrative forms have been subject to classification by literary theorists, in particular during the 1950s, a period which has been described metaphorically as the Linnaean period in the study of narrative.
Narrative forms include:
- Autobiography – a detailed description or account of the storyteller's own life.
- Biography – a detailed description or account of someone's life.
- Captivity narrative – a story in which the protagonist is captured and describes their experience with the culture of their captors.
- Epic – a very long narrative poem, often written about a hero or heroine and their exploits.
- Epic poem – a lengthy story of heroic exploits in the form of a poem.
- Fable – a didactic story, often using animal characters who behave like people.
- Fantasy – a story about characters that may not be realistic and about events that could not really happen.
- Folk tale – an old story which has been passed down orally and which reveals the customs of a culture.
- Historical fiction – stories which take place in real historical settings and which often feature real historical figures and events, but which center on fictional characters or events.
- Legend – a story that is based on fact but often includes exaggerations about the hero (e.g. the East African legend of Fumo Liyongo in the coast of Kenya).
- Memoir – similar to an autobiography, except that memoirs generally deal with specific events in the life of the author.
- Myth – an ancient story often meant to explain the mysteries of life or nature.
- News – information on current events which is presented by print, broadcast, Internet, or word of mouth to a third party or mass audience.
- Nonlinear narrative – a story whose plot does not conform to conventional chronology, causality, and/or perspective.
- Novel – a long, written narrative, normally in prose, which describes fictional characters and events, usually in the form of a sequential story.
- Novella – a written, fictional, prose narrative normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel.
- Parable – a succinct, didactic story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles.
- Play – a story that is told mostly through dialogue and is meant to be performed on stage.
- Quest narrative – a story in which the characters must achieve a goal. This includes some illness narratives.
- Realistic fiction – stories which portray fictional characters, settings, and events that could exist in real life.
- Short story – a brief story that usually focuses on one character and one event.
- Tall tale – a humorous story that tells about impossible happenings, exaggerating the hero's accomplishments.
- Peterson, Shelley (2005). Writing Across the Curriculum: Because All Teachers Teach Writing. Portage & Main Press. p. 88. Retrieved 2009-10-01.
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