Fiction is the branch of literature in which the narrative stems wholly from the author's imagination. While many forms of fiction require a substantial amount of research, especially historical fiction, any form of original story-telling, novels, film, television, and plays, which has been entirely created by the author. One of the most elastic features of fiction is that neither character, plot, nor setting need confine to reality. Science fiction and fantasy, for example, often take place in wholly created universes.
Fiction is frequently broken down into different genres. In addition to historical fiction and science fiction, other genres include romance, horror, and of course, literary fiction, often held in the highest esteem by critics. Fiction of any genre can appear in any number of forms, including novels, novellas, short stories, plays, and even narrative poetry. While fiction has traditionally been sold in books, the Internet is changing the ways in which fiction is both written and distributed to the reading public. One of the more popular brands of fiction to emerge from the Internet is fan fiction, in which budding authors pen their own, original stories based on other popular works of fiction, such as Star Trek or even the Twilight series.
Fiction is an eminently popular form of writing. Many believe that because it comes entirely from the imagination, it is easy to write. Published authors, however, consistently reveal that quality fiction requires dedication to the craft and multiple drafts before a work of fiction is finished.