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A Few Things Every Writer Should Know About Prose


If you want to enhance your writing skills, it is important that you know about prose, and how to write it properly. What is prose? It is a literary piece that uses straightforward and grammatical structures. Here are a few things every writer should know about prose.

Key Characteristics of Prose

When it comes to writing prose, the most important characteristic that you should take into account is that prose should be straightforward and easy to understand. The main intent of prose, is that it should be as close to normal speech patterns as possible.

Different Types of Prose:

In order to improve your prose, it is important that you know the four different types of prose. Here are the types of prose and their characteristics and usages.

· Fiction

This types of prose is designed to give the writer as much freedom to write. Remember that this is fiction, so whatever the author writes is predominantly made up and stems from the author’s imagination.

· Nonfiction

When it comes to writing nonfiction prose, the writer must toe the line between using facts, and adding fictional elements to make the writing more interesting. One of the best examples of nonfiction prose, is used in memoir books. A memoir uses key facts and dates from the author’s life, however, there are also fictional aspects to the writing as well.

· Poetic

This type of prose is mostly used in poems, and it contains various poetic devices in order to convey their message. Rhyming patterns do not need to be a constant in poetic prose. Instead, they should only be used on specific occasions.

· Heroic

The heroic form of prose is technically the oldest form, and is very traditional in nature. This type of prose was popular in oral traditions, wherein the people who created stories had to memorize them and recite them from memory. The best examples of this kind of prose are the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Saga of Beowulf to name but a few.

Famous Examples of Prose

If you want to improve your prose, it is always a good idea to read other examples of prose. Here are some great examples of prose, by some classic writers.

1. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

2. The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you.

- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

3. In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

4. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

- 1984 by George Orwell

5. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.

- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

6. Just remember: If one bird carried every grain of sand, grain by grain, across the ocean, by the time he got them all on the other side, that would only be the beginning of eternity

- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

7. I think… if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.

- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

8. Because when I read, I don’t really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or I sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins to the root of each blood vessel.

- Too Loud A Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal

9. …the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!

- On The Road by Jack Kerouac

10. All I touch are branches, hard and twisted like the hearts of bullied little animals.

- Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami


If you want to write your prose as effectively as possible, it is important that you know how to improve your prose. With this article, you will be able to write truly great prose.

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Flynn Hannan

Flynn Hannan

Bibliophile , Senior Indie Editor at Writers Republic