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Saturday, 18 October 2014


This genre of literature is expressed in ordinary and straight forward language other than in verse. It is a long narrative with a wide range of characters, events and experiences. The term ‘prose’ is derived from the Latin word, ‘Prorsus’ which means ‘straight on’, ‘continues’ or ‘forward’. This genre of literature is distinguished by its use of a greater amount of words and sentence structures, greater variety of rhythm as well as its closeness to the patterns of ordinary speech.

A writer of prose is known as a Proseman or Prosaist. The chief character in prose or any literary piece is known as a Protagonist. A long narrative prose in which the characters are usually imaginary is known as a Novel. When the prose narrative is a short novel, it is known as a Novellette. And when it is a short story often about an event, it is called a Novella or Novelle. Generally, a writer of novels is a Novelist.
When a novel is built on real people and events under disguised names, it is known as Roman A Clef. A story which gives clue to the detection of a criminal is a Detective Story. But should the story be based on romantic life, it becomes a Romantic Novel or a Love Story. A prose narrative telling the story of a family or other social group over successive generations is known as Saga Novel or Roman Fleuve. And a novel full of supernatural horrors is called Terror Novel. But when the story deals with a social event, it is referred to as a Sociological Novel, while a Picaresque Novel, is one tracing the adventures of a rogue and vagabond. An Epistolary Novel is written in form of a letter.

Generally, prose is made up of fictive (fiction) and non-fictive (non-fiction) works.

Kinds of Prose

The Non-fiction Type
Biography:It is a writer’s account of some other person’s life.
Autobiography:It is a writer’s story of his or her own life.
Memoir:This is a historical account, a biographical sketch of someone’s life, written from personal knowledge.
Journal:This refers to a periodical, especially one published by a specialist or professional body for its members, containing information and contributions relevant to their area of activity. It’s a publication usually run by university departments and faculties on their recent researches.
Essay:This is a short piece of nonfiction that expresses the writer’s opinion or shares information about a subject. Someone who writes an essay is an Essayist.

Criticism:This type of prose is similar to the essay except that a piece of criticism may evaluate and pass judgement on literary works in an objective manner.

The fiction type

Novel: It is a book-length, fictional prose story. Because of its length, a novel’s characters and plot are usually more developed than those of a short story. Novels contain, at least, thirty-five thousand words.

Short story:A short story is shorter than a novel. This piece of literature can usually be read in one sitting. Because of its length, it has only a few characters and focuses on one problem or conflict. It is a small world of the novel.

Novella:This is a fictional prose work that is longer than a short story but shorter than a novel.

Fable:It is a short story that often uses talking animals as the main characters and teaches an explicit moral or lesson.

Fantasy:It is a story set in an imaginary world in which the characters usually have supernatural powers or abilities.

Science Fiction:This is writing based on real or imaginary scientific developments and often set in the future.

Realistic Fiction:This is writing that attempts to show life as it really is.

Parable:Quite close to a fable except that it is shorter, a parable is meant to be used to depict a moral truth or lesson. The Christian bible has many examples of parables.

Folklore:These are traditional stories that take their roots from the culture of a particular group of people. It is usually a fictitious but elaborate story accepted by people and transmitted from one generation to another through the medium of speech.

Myth: This is an idea or story that many people believe, which may or may not be true. It is also an ancient story, especially those ones invented in order to explain natural or historical events. Myth is also an imaginary story of gods, heroes, heroines, and supernatural beings which the society hold in high esteem.

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