Understanding the Short Story
v defining the short story
A short story is a brief, fictional, literary work that:
. has an attention-grabbing or intriguing opening,
. can be read ina single sitting,
is shorter than a novel,
. contains the following elements, which are a similar to the
novel: plot, characters, setting, conflict, theme, and style
. makes good use of imagery, narrative voice and dialogue,
. usually has one, main plot, a limited number of characters,
and a single setting,
. generally revolves around one entity: a character, or an
event, or an era, for instance,
. is concise, since all the details provided is important to the
story; it hardly ever diverges from the plot,
Did you know?
Edgar Allan Poe is
credited for being
one of the earliest
short story writers.
9. can end at its climax, or once the climax is reached, it
comes to a satisfying conclusion.
10. generally creates an impression or effect on the reader.
Think about one of your favourite short stories and state:
¢ What is the title?
¢ Who is the author?
e How does it begin? With dialogue? An action? A
e What is the most interesting element? Was it the plot?
Characters? Setting? Conflict?
e Did you like the ending? Why?
e What effect does it have on you?