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Form

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Form refers to the medium in which a story is communicated. A story can be communicated orally (through speech), and also in written form. It is the written forms of communication which are described here.

Novels

Also known as what (non-rebel) Wrimos are attempting for NaNoWriMo!

A novel is a long narrative in literary prose. The further definition of the genre is historically difficult. Most of the criteria (such as artistic merit, fictionality, a design to create an epic totality of life, a focus on history and the individual) are arbitrary and designed to raise further debates over qualities that will supposedly separate great works of literature both from a wider and lower "trivial" production and from the field of true histories. To become part of the literary production novels have to address the discussion of art. The construction of the narrative, the plot, the way reality is created in the works of fiction, the fascination of the character study, and the use of language are usually discussed to show a novel's artistic merits.

Novellas and Short stories

A novella (also called a short novel) is a written, fictional, prose narrative longer than a novelette but shorter than a novel. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards for science fiction define the novella as having a word count between 17,500 and 40,000. Other definitions start as low as 10,000 words and run as high as 70,000 words. A novella has generally fewer conflicts than novels, yet more complicated ones than short stories. The conflicts also have more time to develop than in short stories. They have endings that are located at the brink of change. Unlike novels, they are not divided into chapters, and are often intended to be read at a single sitting, as the short story, although white space is often used to divide the sections.

Short stories have their face in oral story-telling traditions and the prose anecdote, a swiftly sketched situation that quickly comes to its point. With the rise of the comparatively realistic novel, the short story evolved as a miniature version. Short stories tend to be less complex than novels. Usually a short story focuses on one incident, has a single plot, a single setting, a small number of characters, and covers a short period of time. It can be boiled down to "Man goes up tree. Man gets rocks thrown at him. Man goes down tree."

Scripts, Plays and Screenplays

Also known as what Screnzies hope to achieve in Script Frenzy!

A play is a form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of scripted dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading. There are rare dramatists, notably George Bernard Shaw, who have had little preference whether their plays were performed or read. The term "play" can refer to both the written works of playwrights and to their complete theatrical performance. A screenplay or script is a written work that is made especially for a film or television program. Screenplays can be original works or adaptations from existing pieces of writing. A play for television is known as a teleplay.

Fables and Fairy tales

A fable is a succinct story, in prose or verse, that features animals, mythical creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized (given human qualities), and that illustrates a moral lesson (a "moral"), which may at the end be expressed explicitly in a maxim.

Although the fairy tale is a distinct genre within the larger category of folktale, the definition that marks a work as a fairy tale is a source of considerable dispute. One universally agreed-upon matter is that fairy tales do not require fairies.Common parlance conflates fairy tales with beast fables and other folktales, and scholars differ on the degree to which the presence of fairies and/or similarly mythical beings (e.g., elves, goblins, trolls, giants) should be taken as a differentiator. In his essay "On Fairy-Stories", J. R. R. Tolkien agreed with the exclusion of "fairies" from the definition, defining fairy tales as stories about the adventures of men in Faërie, the land of fairies, fairytale princes and princesses, dwarves, elves, and not only other magical species but many other marvels.

Poems

Poetry (from the Latin poeta, a poet) is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning. Poetry may be written independently, as discrete poems, or may occur in conjunction with other arts, as in poetic drama, hymns, lyrics, or prose poetry.

Early attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric, drama, song, and comedy. Later attempts concentrated on features such as repetition, verse form and rhyme, and emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively informative, prosaic forms of writing, such as manifestos, biographies, essays, and novels. From the mid-20th century, poetry has sometimes been more loosely defined as a fundamental creative act using language.

Poetry often uses particular forms and conventions to suggest alternative meanings in the words, or to evoke emotional or sensual responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration, onomatopoeia, and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects. The use of ambiguity, symbolism, irony, and other stylistic elements of poetic diction often leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Similarly, metaphor, simile, and metonymy create a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections previously not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist, between individual verses, in their patterns of rhyme or rhythm.