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The Difference Between Fiction and Nonfiction Books

The Difference Between Fiction and Nonfiction Books
Juli 8, 2024 laskarui
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The Difference Between Fiction and Nonfiction Books

The Difference Between Fiction and Nonfiction Books

In general, the book genre can be categorized into two groups. Both of these categories are fiction and non-fiction books. Not infrequently these two terms are still not understood by some people. Fiction and nonfiction books are two different things. 

So, before knowing the difference between fiction and non-fiction books, you must first understand the meaning of these two types of books.

Understanding Fiction Books

A fiction book is a book that contains stories and is imaginative in nature. According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary, the word fiction means fictional or imaginary stories that are not based on reality. These fiction books are written by authors by developing their imagination. Starting from the characters, conflict, storyline, everything is based on their own imagination.

However, almost every fiction book is made by including existing historical and social facts to strengthen the story to make it more convincing. Then the language used is usually figurative or connotative language. So, readers are invited to enter the story with unusual language.

A book can be categorized as a fiction book if it has the following characteristics:

  • Contains fictional or imaginary stories

The main characteristic of fiction books is that they are not based on true stories. Writers use imagination to tell stories with any theme.

  • Written in connotative language or using figures of speech

To increase the reader’s imagination, fiction book writers insert figures of speech or figurative language.

  • Without standard rules

Fiction book authors write their stories in non-standard forms. The choice of diction and writing style is free and not tied to certain rules.

  • Truth is relative
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True or false in a fictional story depends on each reader’s point of view.

Understanding Nonfiction Books

Non-fiction books are books that contain actual events and are informative. According to Big Indonesian Dictionary, non-fiction is that which is not fiction, but is based on facts and reality (about literary works, essays, and so on). This type of book contains information, descriptions, events, places, characters of objects that actually exist in reality.

Non-fiction books are made based on observations and data whose contents are facts. This is why non-fiction books are often used as a source of information by readers. The language used is usually denotative language or actual language, so readers can immediately understand the meaning of the book’s contents. The characteristics of nonfiction books include:

  • Using formal language

Nonfiction books are presented in formal language according to standard language.

  • Most use denotational meaning

Denotation is the actual meaning of the word. The information presented is presented in a complete and straightforward manner.

  • Written based on facts

Information is written based on data and is factual.

  • Writing in the form of popular scientific writing

Popular scientific writing is writing that uses language that is appropriate to the market and is based on studies, bibliography and reference sources.

  • The findings written down are new findings or development of existing findings

One of the characteristics of nonfiction books is that they aim to perfect ideas from previous texts or develop new ideas.

Difference between Fiction and Non-Fiction Books

The differences between fiction and non-fiction books can be seen from various aspects, such as:

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1. Writing purpose

Even though they contain a moral message, the main purpose of fiction books is to entertain readers. Meanwhile, non-fiction books are usually written to convey information or knowledge about a topic in order to broaden the reader’s insight.

2. Language style

Fiction books often use parables or figures of speech to make them more interesting. The figures of speech used vary greatly, they can be metaphors, metonymies, similes, and so on. Apart from that, fiction book writers can also tell their stories freely. The language used may be non-standard and use figures of speech or have no real meaning.

On the other hand, the language used in non-fiction books should be standard and denotative, meaning it actually means something. The goal is that the information conveyed is unambiguous and easy for readers to understand.

3. Text Structure

The difference between fiction and non-fiction books can also be seen from the structure of the text. The structure of a fictional story consists of six elements, namely:

  • Abstract is the core part of a fictional story.
  • Orientation, contains an introduction to the characters involved in the story as well as being the initial part of the fictional story in a book.
  • Complications are part of the emergence of conflict. Complications are a special attraction for readers.
  • Evaluation is part of solving problems faced by the characters.
  • Resolution is the final resolution of the problem, whether it ends well or otherwise.
  • Coda/reorientation, is a closing that contains conclusions and a moral message.

Meanwhile, non-fiction books are composed of the following structure:

  • Orientation. Just like in fiction books, the orientation in non-fiction books contains introductions to the characters involved in the story.
  • Sequence of events, is the sequence of events that occur, starting from the beginning to the end of the problem.
  • Reorientation is the end of the story which contains a conclusion.
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Examples of Fiction and Non-Fiction Books

Examples of Fiction Books

1. Novel

A novel is a fictional essay that tells the story of the main character and the various conflicts he experiences. Some examples of novels include Dilan 1990, Laskar Pelangi, and Perahu Kertas.

2. Romance

Romance is a work of fiction that tells the story of several characters in the storyline. This work of fiction, which is more directed towards classic stories, contains a lot of wisdom in it. Examples of literary works in the form of romance are Si Dul Anak Jakarta and Girls of Four Ages.

4. Short story

Fiction books can also be collections of short stories, aka short stories, which contain much less content than romances and novels. Usually, short stories collected in one book have the same theme, for example about romance.

Examples of Non-Fiction Books

1. Biography Book

A biography book is a book about a person’s life. This book was written to document important events experienced by this person so that they can inspire readers.

2. Literature Books

Writing literature books is generally based on research, therefore the information conveyed can be confirmed to be correct. Literature books function as references for scientific studies.

3. Motivational Book

As the name suggests, this book contains psychological studies to raise the spirits of its readers. The themes are related to self-love, business, marriage, work, and so on.

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