A common literary query is “What is the difference between a novel and a book?” When we think of literature, we usually think of books on our shelves. We read millions of books a year, and almost all of them are written in the form of fiction. We do not see works of non-fiction on our bookshelves. If we visit bookstores, most of the books are available for sale under the heading of “books” or “novels.” Is there any difference between novels and non-novel books?
The truth is that no, there is no difference. Both a novel and a book are a form of art, a representation of ideas that can be understood by the human mind. Both are texts that speak to the reader’s consciousness, and both are intended to communicate something important to the readers. But in how do they differ from one another? Are there actually any real differences at all?
One difference between the two is the plot. Book plots events within the text, while a novel usually describes a situation but doesn’t tell the reader what is happening. This difference is especially important if you are writing a novel, because you need to create an “emotion” for your character. Without an emotion, the reader will not understand the plot and will most likely stop reading at some point to avoid boredom. However, without a plot, the book will be completely useless, just like a television show without a story.
Of course, the plot can be changed, but it will require changing the characters themselves. Changing one character and destroying their identity is not an easy task, and may be viewed as poor storytelling or writing style. Therefore, it is important to create characters that the reader cares about so that their emotions are not affected by the plot. Once the personality of your main character is established, you can then work on developing other minor characters. These characters should have their own back-story and be defined by their actions, traits, and desires.
Another difference is the actual plot structure of the book vs. a novel. When you start a book, you have a general idea of where the story is going, and this is called the plot structure. You can follow the general flow of the story in the beginning of a book, or you can deviate from it, introducing new plots and characters as needed throughout the story. You can also write multiple books in a series and just keep adding plot twists at the drop of a hat if you wish.
Novels, on the other hand, have a beginning, middle, and an end. Your main character goes through a series of events and then comes back in the final chapter to be crowned the winner of the prize. There is generally a main villain, and the main theme of the book is thwarting this villain. The villain is generally evil, and the hero is trying to do what is right by following a plan. Sometimes the theme is one of love and sometimes it is centered around family. With a book, the main character will have an arc that differs greatly from the main plotline.
A plot twist, or “turn of events,” is something that changes the course of the story dramatically. This twist may be surprising to the reader, or it may seem like it was foreseen all along. A twist can take the story in an entirely new direction, and make the book more interesting and dramatic. However, a writer must realize that readers don’t like sudden turn of events, and any change that is too drastic may lose readers. Changing the balance of a book too dramatically can destroy its credibility among readers.
In summary, there are many differences between a book and a novel. They are both written to tell a story, but they do it in very different ways. The former lays out the main character’s point of view throughout the story, while the latter does not. While a novel can be long and complex, it can also be short and straightforward. The only thing that is constant in both is the quality of writing.