What is Psychological Fiction?
An offshoot of realism, psychologicalfiction focuses on the conflicts and motivations of its characters. In such literature, plot events are often less important than the inner workings of each character’s mind. A technique closely associated with psychological fiction is stream of consciousness, which presents the random flow of a character’s thoughts. Though psychological fiction is often viewed as a 20th-century invention found in the writing of Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and others, earlier writers—such as George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Thomas Hardy—can be said to employ this technique in varying degrees.