Literary Devices That Start With F

Here is list of literary devices that start with F:


A fable is a brief fictional story featuring anthropomorphized animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature as characters that act like humans. Fables are meant to teach a moral lesson or ethical principle through allegory. The characters represent abstract ideas.

Examples: Aesop’s fables like “The Tortoise and the Hare” and “The Ant and the Grasshopper.”

Fairy Tale

A fairy tale is a fanciful, magical narrative, usually intended for children, that typically incorporates fantastical elements like fairies, elves, goblins, gnomes, trolls, giants, talking animals, and wizards. Fairy tales are set in an unknown place and time.

Examples: Classic fairy tales like Snow White, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel.


A fallacy refers to an error in reasoning due to faulty logic, misconceptions, or assumptions that invalidate an argument. There are many types of logical fallacies related to relevance, ambiguity, presumption, and false causality that are commonly used in literature and rhetoric.

Examples: Slippery slope fallacy, ad hominem attack, false dilemma, confirmation bias.

Falling Action

The falling action consists of the events and complications that follow after the climax, or high point of tension, in a story leading the plot toward its eventual resolution and conclusion. Loose ends are tied up, questions answered, entanglements unraveled.

Example: After Hamlet finally enacts revenge in the play’s climax, the falling action deals with the aftermath like Hamlet’s death.


Fantasy refers to imaginative fiction featuring magic, supernatural elements, fanciful worlds, invented creatures like orcs and hobbits, mythology, and alternative realities that delve beyond conventional realism. Fantasy explores the impossible.

Examples: The Harry Potter series with magic and wizards. The Lord of the Rings saga set in Middle Earth.


A farce is an extreme form of comedy that depends on absurdities, improbabilities, ridiculous contrivances, clownish humor, and exaggerated characterizations to provoke boisterous, unrestrained laughter. Farce parodies and mocks serious dramatic forms and values.

Examples: Many silly comedies by Abbott & Costello, The Marx Brothers, and Laurel & Hardy.

Feminine Rhyme

A feminine rhyme consists of two syllables in the rhyming words rather than just one. The rhyme matches sounds over two syllables, with stress on the first. For example: pure/demure, bauble/ramble.

Example: “Believe me, if all those endearing young charms / Which I gaze on so fondly today / Were to change by tomorrow and fleet in my arms / Like fairy gifts fading away” (Thomas Moore)


Fiction refers to imaginative narratives invented by writers from the creative imagination rather than based strictly on history or fact. While fictional in nature, fiction writers may convey underlying truths about the human condition through imagined characters and scenarios.

Examples: Novels, short stories, fairy tales, poetry, and plays all fall under the realm of fiction.

Figurative Language

Figurative language refers to words, phrases, and sentences that depart from literal meaning in order to produce a vivid, imaginative effect. By exaggerating or altering standard speech, figures of speech such as imagery, hyperbole, and allusions create comparisons.

Examples: Metaphors, similes, personification, oxymorons, hyperbole, and euphemisms.

Figure of Speech

A figure of speech is a rhetorical device that deviates from straightforward, literal speech to produce a stylistic or emotional effect through colorful language. Figures of speech such as metaphors, similes, and personification add life to expressions.

Examples: “Love is a battleground” – metaphor. “My love is like a red, red rose” – simile.


A flashback is an interjected scene or portion of dialogue set in an earlier timeframe that interrupts the current chronology of events in a story to depict action that occurred prior to the main time axis. Flashbacks reveal backstory, past events, history.

Example: Lost uses extensive flashbacks depicting characters’ lives before the plane crash.


A flash-forward reveals events expected to occur in the fictional world’s future through glimpses, scenes, and plot elements set in an anticipated, later timeframe. Flash-forwards temporarily disrupt the current timeline moving the story ahead.

Example: In the Harry Potter series, book 1 begins with a flash-forward to Harry as an unhappy older teenager, before jumping back in time to his childhood.

Flat Character

A flat character is one who is not very multi-faceted or complex. A flat character embodies a single defining personality trait, idea, quality, attitude, or archetype without much in-depth development or transformation over time.

Examples: The big bad wolf in fairy tales is just a villain. Sidekicks and minor characters are often flat.


A foil is a character who parallels and contrasts with the protagonist to highlight certain attributes of the main character. By serving as a mirror opposite or counterpart, a foil reveals qualities through the juxtaposition of differences and similarities.

Example: Draco Malfoy acts as a foil to Harry Potter by representing opposing traits.


Folklore refers to the traditional stories, customs, legends, beliefs, songs, proverbs, jokes, popular sayings and superstitions of a people or culture that are circulated informally among generations through oral culture rather than books.

Examples: Urban legends, folk ballads, trickster tales, and fairy tales are all examples of folklore. The Brothers Grimm collected common folk tales.


A foot is a single repeating metric unit within a poetic line, composed of a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables. Feet include iambs, trochees, spondees, dactyls, and anapests, and they determine the rhythm of formal poetry.

Example: An iambic foot has two syllables, unstressed followed by stressed, as in “delight.”


Foreshadowing refers to hints, signs, and clues about events that have yet to unfold within the plot of a story. Foreshadowing builds anticipation and suspense for the reader while establishing rhythm and tension as events play out.

Example: Weather patterns and nature omens often foreshadow turmoil in Shakespeare’s plays.


A foreword is a short introductory chapter or section written by someone other than the book’s author, often by another author or expert figure. Forewords praise the book and provide useful context, background information, or testimonials about the text or writer to preface the main work.

Example: Toni Morrison has written forewords to new editions of novels like Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby

Frame Story

A frame story incorporates a main narrative that is framed within another separate narrative structure serving as an introductory or concluding framing device. This embedded story-within-a-story technique creates layered narratives.

Example: The framing device of Scheherazade telling magical stories in One Thousand and One Nights

Free Verse

Free verse is open form poetry that lacks rhyme, fixed meter, or other musical patterns, but still uses cadence and rhythm learned from everyday speech patterns. The poetry is highly fluid, unfettered by regular forms.

Example: Works by Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, and Langston Hughes demonstrate free verse.

So in summary, literary devices starting with F cover key narrative elements, genres, and techniques used in fiction, poetry, and storytelling. Let me know if you need any examples or expansions on a particular device.

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