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Term Definition

A novel is simply a work of art in which various characters are put together within the context of a given set of situations, with the plot emerging and developing as a result of the interactions between these characters. According to the writer Kundera, the novel is a characteristically modern form of art, due to the fact that it seeks to capture the psychological truths of human existence with moral and/or ideological baggage.  

What is a novel?

While not commonly known, novels are unusually long prose that follows a narrative dialogue and typically has a plot. Some novels are short stories or longer pieces, while other novels are a collection of works.

Webster’s Dictionary defines a novel as “an invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events; the literary genre consisting of novels.”

Novels are usually bound in paperback or hardback book covers and are the most popular form of reading. More than one billion books are sold every year, although the formats are changing from print to digital.

Steps for producing novels

There are many rules involved for writing a book. First, good grammar and spelling are often crucial to the writing process. Authors have to know how to spell, read, and use advanced grammar. However, some authors purposefully use spelling mistakes and grammatical errors to enhance a scene in the novel.

Learning how to write properly is only the first step in this literary world. Writers must learn the creative techniques and how to make words enjoyable. After all, a book is not a success unless someone reads it and enjoys the novel. Reading the world’s best authors is what helps with this goal. A writer can only learn to write by reading other authors.

Next, developing characters, a plot, secondary story lines, etc. are natural evolution in any novel creation. While a novel is a longer prose poem, this form of prose must be narrative, creative, and entertaining. One must choose a genre to determine what the storyline will be.

Historical origins

Novels are long fictional narratives that depict fictional stories. It is historically prose style, and its history was shaped by historical changes in printing, costs, education, and interest. Development of the prose novel started with the English and Spanish words that are derived from novella, Italina for new, news, or short story of something new. 

Until the early 1750s novels were critiqued and categorized by historians according to usefullness and entertainment. In the later part of the 18th Century, authors started working with the idea that fiction could be considered entertaining. Until then, all novels were either historical accounts of or accepted mythology. 

Book printing was invented in the 15th century. Authors started creating books based on the traditional prose style of the ancient Greek and Roman traditions. However, only the rich were able to enjoy the works of art, and the printing of books didn’t catch on until more people were able to afford them.  

By the 18th Century books were a popular hit, and everyone who was or wanted to be someone in society had collections of the popular artists of the day. But authors started to disagree with the customary prose style and wanted to make a mark all their own. They started to experiment with the proven literary elements and then added perosnal flair. However, most authors still used the traditional prose style accepted by the audiences.

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Synonyms: novel

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