Difference between Fiction and Non-Fiction


To put it simply Fiction is something that is a product of an individual’s imagination whereas non- fiction comes factual knowledge or something that an individual already knows.


Fiction refers to literature formed by the imagination. Mysteries, science fiction, fantasy, romance, chick-lit, crime thrillers are all genres of fiction. It is a matter of opinion whether any of these genres should be considered “literature” or not. Some of these types of writing are taught in schools for literature and some are not typically taught, perceived mostly to be television reading. “Literary fiction” is also referred to as works also learned in literature schools, including, for example, classics by Dickens, Austen, Twain, and Poe.


Like fiction, Non-fiction also has a sub-genre called “literary nonfiction,” which refers to fact-based yet creative writing, making it as fun to read as fiction(not exactly but somewhat closer). There are, of course, many other types of nonfiction that are not literature, such as cookbooks, exercise papers, crafting guides, etc., which do not imply the sorts of works we will review in a literature classroom. You may not be aware but one way or the other we end up studying a lot of non-fiction literature, such as history, memoirs or autobiography, essays, speeches, and satire.  


You are also probably familiar with some examples of these, including The Diary of Anne Frank or Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes. As with literary fiction, these works of literary nonfiction include character, setting, storyline, confrontation, figurative language, and theme.


For a better understanding of the differences. We can say:


  • Real things, real people, real incidents, real locations, and real writing is involved in non-fiction. Fiction, however, is just based on one’s imagination, imaginary characters(Iron man), imaginary events (DC rebirth), imaginary places(Westeros), etc.
  • While a writer generates fiction based on his imagination, non-fiction is not produced, but only written based on evidence.
  • While non-fiction focuses on ideas or incidents that have already taken place, fiction tends to concentrate on concepts and incidents that are fictional.
  • Non-fiction deals with real individuals when it comes to characters, and fiction merely produces characters.
  •  If something is said to have existed, whether in the past or the present, in actual locations, so it is non-fiction. But if it is said that anything has taken place in a fake place or location that in actuality does not exist, then it is fiction.
  •  Fictions are entertainers only and non-fiction, on the other hand, are insightful.
  •  A fiction writer intends to make the audience feel that all the things they read or see is happening. But such a thing should not be indulged in by a non-fiction writer. Without any dedication to their audience, fiction writers make stories. They just elaborate on their ideas and thoughts. A writer of non-fiction does not spill his/her imaginations out.