Reading the Novel and the Film
The broadest division of fictional literature is genre, a distinct type or category into which literary works may be grouped according to the context or subject matter. The four major literary genres are poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama. This concept of genre applies to both literature and film as libraries and book and video stores tend to group novels and films according to their subject matter. Originally this term was used to separate comedy and tragedy. Theoretically tragedy occurs when the protagonist loses the struggle; comedy occurs whenever the protagonist succeeds in his or her conflict. As a practical matter, any area into which a number of stories can be grouped can be considered a genre. For example, comedy and tragedy are usually subdivided into types of tragedy and types of comedy. These generic subdivisions will include such categories as romance, adventure, science fiction, mystery, horror, humor, and drama. Subdivisions occur because an author manipulates the structural forms--the seven basic elements of literature--to create a specific type of literature. These forms are, for the most part, universally accepted as to meaning and application.
Plot applies to both the action and the arrangement of the episodes or sequence of events. All of the action and events that occur in the story must connect. By connection, there must be a sense of causality in that one event leads to another and all connect by their relation to a central plan of action.