Monday, March 23, 2015

What Am I Reading?

Myth or legend?  Novel or novella?  Comic or graphic novel?  Sometimes it can get difficult to classify the type of book/story I am reading, so I did some research.  Since I like to babble ad nauseum about things I discover, here is what I found out.
Myth - A myth tends to be a world view story, usually a story that explains something unexplained.  We see this most often in creation myths, seasonal myths, and attributing courses of nature to gods, demi-gods and the ilk. These tend to be of a more religious nature.

Legend - A legend is usually told as historical fact.  As in "my great-great-grandfather once..."  These tend to have a basis in fact, but may have been exaggerated, or embellished as time goes on.

Folk Tale/Fairy Tale - These stories tend to be regional, set in and around local areas with local flavor.  These stories also tend to have an element of magic, or magical beings in them. These tend to be more magical then religious in nature.

Fiction - This is a story that is made up, at least in part.  There may be some partial truths, or actual fact in them, but the story itself is actually untrue.

Non-Fiction - This would be the opposite of fiction.  These books are supposed to be completely true, thing biographies, how-to books, histories and so forth.  These books may have opinions in them, but on the whole are based in fact.

Short Story - A short story is meant to be read in one sitting and is usually between 1,000 and 20,000 words with most being between 4,000 and 7,500 words.  These stories tend to focus on a single element of a story instead of the big three (story, world building and characters).

Novella - This is a story in length between a short story and a novel.  In general a novella is no more then 40,000 words.  A novella offers more opportunity for development, but often focuses on a single element, with little to no sub-plot.

Novel - Here we have our full length book, usually over 40,000 words and have a fully developed plot, characters, world and sub-plots.  This is where we see multiple idea's fully fleshed out.  These tend to be the most common of "books" that are read.

Graphic Novel - Even though these are called "novels" they tend to be shorter then your average one.  Graphic Novels are classified by a story told by a "comic" style illustration with the story told more through visuals then words.
These are the basic definitions of the various types of books/stories one might read.  Of course with the zillions of books out there, there is bound to be some overlap, and some books that do not fall in the standard definitions.  All of this to say, when I use these terms in my posts, this is in general what I mean.  Hope this is helpful to some of you.  Happy Reading Everybody!

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