Day 116: The Types of Prose

March 9th 2016

Prose

Today’s post will be very different to most in that the majority of the blog wont be written by me, it will be quoted from the German University of Freiburg and, whilst it isn’t the only source I used when researching how to write different styles of prose, it is the easiest to use in order to give exposition on the subject.

Whilst these examples do not govern every style of writing, they do cover the types of writing that I would more than likely produe, should I ever get back to writing.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the longest quote you may have ever seen.

The Types of Novel

The Novel can be defined as an extended work of prose fiction. It derives from the Italian novella (“little new thing”), which was a short piece of prose. The novel has become an increasingly popular form of fiction since the early eighteenth century, though prose narratives were written long before then. The term denotes a prose narrative about characters and their actions in what is recognisably everyday life. This differentiates it from its immediate predecessor, the romance, which describes unrealistic adventures of supernatural heroes.

The Gothic Novel became very popular from the second half of the eighteenth century onwards. With the aim to evoke chilling terror by exploiting mystery and a variety of horrors, the gothic novel is usually set in desolate landscapes, ruined abbeys, or medieval castles with dungeons, winding staircases and sliding panels. Heroes and heroines find themselves in gloomy atmospheres where they are confronted with supernatural forces, demonic powers and wicked tyrants. Examples are Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto; Ann Radcliffe, Mysteries of Udolpho; William Faulkner, Absalom! Absalom!

Science fiction is a type of prose narrative of varying length, from short-story to novel. Its topics include quests for other worlds, the influence of alien beings on Earth or alternate realities; they can be utopian, dystopian or set in the past. Common to all types of science fiction is the interest in scientific change and development and concern for social, climatic, geological or ecological change (e.g. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; H.G. Wells, The Time Machine; Aldous Huxley, Brave New World; George Orwell, 1984; Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange).

And finally, and arguably the two most pertinent to my style of writing.

A Short-story is a piece of prose fiction marked by relative shortness and density, organised into a plot and with some kind of dénouement at the end. The plot may be comic, tragic, romantic, or satiric. It may be written in the mode of fantasy, realism or naturalism.

A Romance is a fictional narrative in prose or verse that represents a chivalric theme or relates improbable adventures of idealised characters in some remote or enchanted setting. It typically deploys monodimensional or static characters who are sharply discriminated as heroes or villains, masters or victims. The protagonist is often solitary and isolated from a social context, the plot emphasises adventure, and is often cast in the form of a quest for an ideal or the pursuit of an enemy. Examples: Anonymous, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Sir Philip Sidney, Arcadia; Percy B. Shelley, Queen Mab; Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables.

Summary

I understand that it’s a lot to take in and, for those of you who are reading, I would completely understand if you chose to gloss over this blog post and move on to tomorrow’s, hell I might even do that, especially if the blogs content wasn’t something that I was remotely interested in. I know not all of you are interested in writing, just as I’m not interested in art but, if you do choose to read through these short snippets I’m certain you’d find it highly enlightening.

I know I did.

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