What are the general forms of prose and its types? What are the the styles of prose, i.e. Common style and Cheap style? What is the distinction between fictional and non-fictional prose?

Expert Answers
dule05 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Prose is any kind of writing without a metrical structure. Poetry, in contrast, includes meter, rhyme, and rhythm, so none of these elements are related to prose. Prose solely relies on sentences and paragraphs. It does not include verses or lines like poetry does.

Types of prose are:

  • Nonfictional Prose - it includes biographies, essays, journals, letters, memoirs, etc.
  • Fictional Prose - it includes novels, novellas, short stories, etc.
  • Heroic Prose - it includes legends, tales, etc.
  • Prose Poetry - it emphasizes emotions and images, but its works are still written in prose, not in verse.

Style is the literary element which consists of the words author uses, specific sentence structure, figurative language, etc. All these elements create a certain mood, image or message in the text. Therefore, style describes how the author depicts some ideas, messages, events, places or characters in the text.

There are many styles in prose, and various authors use various styles (formal, informal, journalistic, etc.). Very often, they use a combination of more styles. However, we can divide prose into two major styles - common and cheap. Common style is simple, clear, strong, and direct. It is generally thought to be a good style. Cheap style, in contrast, is the style generally characterized by heavy ornamentation, the misuse of words, exaggerations, vulgarisms and sloppy sentences (Boulton 83). It is considered inappropriate.

Fictional prose is a type of prose which is partly or completely imagined, describing imaginary events or people. The common works of fictional prose are novels, short stories, etc.

Nonfictional prose is a type of prose which mostly relies on fact, although it may consist of some fictional elements. The common works of nonfictional prose are the essay and biography.

  Works Cited:

Boulton, Marjorie. "Common Style and Cheap Style." Anatomy of Prose (Routledge Revivals). N.p.: Routledge, 2014. 79-84. Web. 22 Nov. 2015.