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Why Is "Fiction Novel" Redundant?
Let's look at the definitions from Merriam-Webster.
"Something invented by the imagination or feigned; specifically : an invented story."
"An invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events."
The problem with the phrase "fiction novel" is that novels are, by definition, fictitious. Following? So saying you have a fiction novel is redundant, like saying you're giving someone a "free gift." I think the reason people get confused is because they've come to interchange the word "novel" with "book" and forget that while a book can be any type of work, fiction, non-fiction, or otherwise, a novel is comprised of fictitious prose. Or expected to be, anyway.
When you specify what kind of novel you have in your query, you should use the genre and/or age category.
"My literary novel..."
"My middle-grade novel..."
"My contemporary young-adult novel..."
Agents will know your novel is a work of fiction.
Questions? Leave them in the comments and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Posted by Casey McCormick on Saturday, February 26, 2011