The Novel is a literary genre that came into its own during the 19th Century. At that time writers, as members of a still fairly young profession, moved away from emulating the classic forms of epic poetry and satire and began spending more time with narratives that offered a more intimate relationship with the characters. Making use of first person perspective and/or the free indirect style, authors of this distinctly new style of storytelling were able to explore character to a greater depth, while sometimes eschewing well-developed plots (though this is not always the case; there have been many great novelists who have balanced the demands of plot and character with finesse.) The trend was for these tales to get longer and longer, as authors sought to fully exhaust the topics they were tackling. What had begun as short stories transformed into stand-alone narratives published in book form: the novel. Nowadays readers tend to think of long narrative fiction as falling into one of any kind of novel; i.e., Romance Novels, Horror Novels, Sci Fi Novels, Westerns, Literary Fiction, etc. Early pioneers of the genre include Charles Dickens, George Elliot, and Jane Austen.
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