Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Literary Genres (Vocabulary: Art Terms)

LITERARY GENRES (Vocabulary: Art Terms)

Here are five genres (categories) of writing and the people who write them:

  • novels and novellas: These are longer works of fiction; shorter novels may be called novellas (though there is no exact number of pages to divide one from the other). People who write novels or novellas are called novelists.
  • short stories: These are decidedly shorter works of fiction. Where a novel may have multiple plots and subplots, a short story is generally a single "thread" of story. There is no special word for people who write short stories; we usually just say "short story writers."
  • poems: Poems, of course, are different from the above two genres (which are called prose). They may have a special rhyme or meter (or they may not) but they're usually fairly easy to recognize. People who write poems are called poets.
  • plays or dramas: These are works written to be performed, usually live on a stage. They may be serious (dramas or tragedies) or amusing (comedies). In any case, the people that write them may be called playwrights or dramatists.
  • essays: These are thought pieces, usually based on facts and including the writer's ideas about those facts. Such writers are called essayists.

There are of course other types of writing--for films, songs, speeches, textbooks, and so on. But these are the main types for what we call "literature."


(Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons; CTTO)

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