The Novel has been one of the most embraced writing forms for entertainment and leisure. Central to the novel is the element of story telling. Story telling has been as early as human history can note; however, this does not mean that story telling alone is what makes up the novel. It would not be accurate to say that the novel is realised where story telling started in human history. One reason this would not be exactly accurate is that story telling is an element that is not just present in novels, but is also present in other works like poetry and play performances.

           The novel reached it's full-fledged form in the 18th century (1700s). This period is regarded as the rise of the novel. Still, before the 18th century, there are several stages in human history that have contributed to the history of the novel.

             The first stage is the stage of the Epics. An epic is a long narrative poem that expresses stories of heroism and nobility. This stage can be marked from the ancient times to  700 or 800 AD. The earliest form was the Epic of Gilgamesh in 612 BC. This is where the story telling format of novels is traceable to. Consequently, Homer's Epics in 800 AD were epic poems that were also integral to the development of story telling that grew into novels.

                The second stage is the stage of Romances. This stage is where a form of narrative writing style gained fame in the early medieval period. The medieval period refers to the time frame between 1000 AD to 1500 AD. These writing styles were Romances because they focused on chivalry (the conduct of Knights and nobles towards women), bravery, knighthood and romance. A notable example that grew to affect the development of the novel is Thomas Malory's "Morte d' Arthur" in 1470.

            Geoffrey Chaucer as well wrote with this unique writing style. Chaucer played a major role in the development of English novels. In his Romance writings, he paved way for unique characterisation and conversations which are essential elements of novels. A notable example of such works is Canterbury Tales by Chaucer where he made use of characters as archetypes of the society. In this narrative poem, he also employed conversations.

               Another major actor in Romance writings is Boccaccio. He wrote prose tales of love and Adventure even before Malory and Chaucer. His tales greatly influenced the style of narratives in the medieval period and the 17th century.

                 The third stage occured in the 17th century (1600s). This is the stage of Burlesques. Burlesques were writing forms where serious issues are made fun of. An integral example of this is Miguel Carvantes's "Don Quixote". Don Quixote stood out as a text that is a major work that has greatly influenced the creation English novels. It is the first major novel that broke away from the Chivalric writings of the medieval period. 

                  It should also be noted that at this third stage—the 17th century—the writing style of the medieval still had its influence in English novels. Also, the picaresque of the medieval writings had its influence as well.

                  Finally at this third stage is the Allegorical Christian writings of John Bunyan. Pilgrim's Progress and The Life and Death of Mr. Badman are two examples of his Christian Allegorical writings. Bunyan's writings were integral to the development of the novel. Such ideas like settings, characters, and conflicts were present in his writings. These ideas are elements that are seen in the novel. 

               All this stages from the Ancient times or epics to the Allegorical writings of the 17th century are great contributors to how the novel developed. After all this, the novel began to fully take shape in the 18th century. This is why this century is known as the Rise of the novel.