How many literary genres are there?

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There are many different literary genres and sub-genres. Some of the large-scale ways in which we categorize literary works into genres are the following:

  • Fiction: This is a form of imaginative literature written in prose. It usually consists of a mixture of dialogue and exposition. It can be divided into longer works called "novels" and shorter works called "short stories" or "short fictions". Very short stories of a single page are sometimes called "flash fiction". 
  • Drama: Drama can be written in verse or prose. It usually consists exclusively of dialogue, in which characters speak to one another or the audience. Most drama is designed to be performed on stage. Dramas are often called "plays". 
  • Poetry: Poetry is written in verse as opposed to prose. Long narrative poems are called "epics" while shorter, more personal poems are sometimes referred to as "lyric poetry."
  • Nonfiction: Unlike imaginative literature which is invented by the author, nonfiction is based on actual events. It includes such genres as biography, autobiography, and travel writing. 

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