Spectrum of Fiction

3. Ballad-sheet

The ballad-sheet is a single sheet of paper with print on one side. Ballads generally concern a single event; they are dramatic and impersonal. Plot is the central element. The language is plain and often formulaic. Repetition and parallelism are common. All ballads are essentially short narrative poems, but different from region to region, and within regions, according to lyrical elements and quality, relative to the conditions of production and reception, as well as the interests of publishers and readers. Ballads often tell stories or refer to figures that are well known to readers, through oral tradition or by way of other downmarket forms such as chapbooks.