What are the similarities and differences between a drama and a novel?

Quick answer:

Both dramas and novels share similarities in having plots, conflicts, characters, themes, and telling stories. The primary difference lies in their mode of storytelling. Dramas are designed for performance, relying heavily on dialogue, including soliloquies and asides, to convey characters' thoughts and actions. In contrast, novels are written in prose and are meant to be read, using a narrator to provide deeper insights into characters and events.

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The primary similarities between a novel and a drama are that they both have plots, complete with rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution; they both have conflicts, characters, and themes. They both tell stories, essentially—they simply differ in the manner in which they tell it.

A drama is meant to be performed, to be seen and heard. It does not typically have a narrator, someone who can interpret characters' actions or thoughts, as some novels do. A novel will always have a narrator, even if that narrator can only report what is visible to the protagonist. A drama is going to rely on dialogue as its main mode of conveying information. Everything the audience needs to know must be spoken aloud, and so characters sometimes deliver soliloquies or asides in order to share their internal thoughts and feelings with us. A soliloquy is when a character is alone on stage, speaking his or her thoughts aloud. An aside refers to moments when a character speaks to him or herself, to another character, or to the audience, and, by convention, those characters who are not supposed to hear do not hear (even if the actor is standing close enough to hear what the other says).

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Drama and Novel and the same in that they both tell a story of some sort.  They can also have similarities based on their content; they can both be comedies or trajedies, or follow like plot structures.  Sometimes there are even stories made into both novels and dramas. 

The differences are a little more marked.  Novels are always written in prose, or the traditional sentence structure, free of a particular rhythem or pattern.  Drama is usually written in the form of dialogue and can often employ more poetic structures.  They both have a plot, a main theme, and often both major and minor characters.

The main difference is that drama is meant to be performed.  The word drama actually means action.  Novels are meant to be read. Although novels sometimes have dialogue, it is not always included and is not a necessary part of the structure like it is for drama.

Often, novels are longer than dramas for the simple fact that people want to see the drama performed in one sitting and the novels is meant to be read over time. 

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