Many novels consist of dialog - and the other part, the part that is not dialog. What do you call the part of a novel that is not dialog?

  • For what it's worth, dialogue isn't necessary in a novel and 'narrative'—despite being the correct answer for what you're looking for—can also be understood as meaning the entire account, dialogue and all. – lly Apr 24 at 14:06
  • Thanks, @lly, I rephrased the question to take into account that not all novels have dialog. – MartinW Apr 24 at 14:11
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    @lly For some reason, HTML character entities work in questions and answers, but not in comments. – David Richerby Apr 24 at 17:09
  • @lly use alt 0150 : "–" , and alt 0151 : "—" – Mazura Apr 25 at 4:52
  • @Mazura Those don't work for people without a keypad. The coders here should just support the standard HTML code. – lly Apr 26 at 16:37

I think the most general term is narrative:

1 A spoken or written account of connected events; a story.

a gripping narrative

1.1 [mass noun] The narrated part of a literary work, as distinct from dialogue.

the dialogue and the narrative suffer from awkward syntax

Oxford Dictionary

Narrative includes exposition, which describes events that take place, and description, which describes people and places.

  • Yeah, I was thinking 'narration' but that is better restricted to narratives where the narrator's voice is more pronounced. This is probably understood more generally. – lly Apr 24 at 14:04
  • I think narration and narrative are quite different things. – user323578 Apr 25 at 8:28
  • Can be. Which is what I just said, yes. – lly Apr 26 at 16:36
  • Ah, sorry. I misread/misunderstood your comment – user323578 Apr 26 at 17:03

In a play this sort of material would usually be called stage directions, which might convey your intended meaning, depending on the audience.

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    Okay? This question is about novels. – only_pro Apr 24 at 15:24
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    Although it doesn't address the question asked, I think this is an insightful comment. – user323578 Apr 25 at 8:28
  • @user323578 Okay? Answers are for answering the question that was asked. Everything else should go in a comment. – only_pro May 1 at 21:09

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