Different Types of Literature

Literature
Original image by Nina Hale http://bit.ly/1MsdID1

Many best seller lists, like the one of the New York Times, divide literature in two parts: Fiction and non-fiction. Yet, this doesn’t even grasp a fraction of the diversity that is modern day (and ancient) literature. Both branches, the “fiction” one as well as the “non-fiction” one, consist of many different forms and types of literature.

 

Knowing these different kinds are, of course, important for your own reading pleasure, and for recommendations made to others. Yet, when getting creative yourself, it’s also important to find out which type the story or tale you want to tell should have.

 

Following, we give you a by no means exhaustive or complete list of literary work in both the fictional and non-fictional field.

 

Types of Literature

Fictional

 

Anthology – compilation of different works; also with background information about time period, author, intention, etc.

 

Classic – fictional books that became part of the accepted literary canon; often taught in schools

 

Comics/Graphic Novel – fiction told with the visual aid of pictures

 

Crime/Detective/Mystery – fiction about committing a crime, solving the crime, and the aftermath

 

Drama – Fiction written in a way that it could be staged

 

Fable – narrative with a moral; usually involving animals as characters

 

Fairy Tale – story about mythical creatures; can contain morals; usually for children

 

Fanfiction – fiction created by a fan based on a series, movie, novel, etc.

 

Fantasy – fiction that takes pace in other/fantastical worlds, involving suspension of reality

 

Horror – fiction that evolves around horrific and frightening events, either for the reader or the characters

 

Legend – story that has existed over centuries; based on facts but “spiced up” by fiction

 

Myth – story that is regarded as sacred and oftentimes as true; involves Gods or supernatural beings

 

Poetry – verses that usually rhyme and follow certain patterns

 

Romance – fiction with a primary focus on love and relationships; can be tragic

 

Satire – humorous take on a person, political, or economic situation; can be either hilarious or quite dark

 

Science Fiction – stories set around actual or imaginative science and developments

 

Non-Fictional

 

Autobiography – story of a person’s life written down by the person themselves

 

Biography – story of a person’s life written down by another author

 

Cookbook – collection of receipts

 

Diary – dated notions of thoughts, opinions, and happenings during the day of the author; private

 

Dictionary – list of words, their meaning, and – depending on the language – a translation

 

Encyclopedia/Lexicon – compilation of expressions, terms, objects, and other matters with a detailed description, history, etymology, etc.

 

Guide – collection of references or information on a certain topic

 

History – collection of attested happenings in the past, political backgrounds, economic development, etc. over time

 

Journal – similar to a diary, but open for other people but the author to read

 

Science – explanation of matters of science like math, biology, chemistry, physics, etc.

 

Self-Help – guide to self-induced improvement in all kinds of economic, emotional, inteleectual, etc. matters

 

Travel – compilation of a country, region, or city with facts, information, tips, maps, etc.

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