Short Story, fictional work depicting one character·s inner conflict or conflict with others, usually having one
thematic focus. Short stories generally produce a single, focused emotional and intellectual response in the reader. Novels, by contrast, usually depict conflicts among many characters developed through a variety of episodes, stimulating a complexity of responses in the reader. The short story form ranges from ´short shorts,µ which run in length from a sentence to four pages, to novellas that can easily be 100 pages long and exhibit characteristics of both the short story and the novel. Because some works straddle the definitional lines of these three forms of fiction³short story, novella, and novel³the terms should be regarded as approximate rather than absolute.
The basic elements of the short story include setting (time and place), conflict, character, and theme. Most stories are set in present day, but settings of place vary from rural to urban and exotic to mundane. The reader follows the main character (or protagonist) in a conflict with another character (or antagonist) or in an internal conflict with some antagonistic psychological or spiritual force. Characters range from familiar stereotypes, such as the aggressive businessman and the lonely housewife, to archetypal characters, such as the rebel, the scapegoat, the alter ego, and those engaged in some sort of search.
The subject of a short story is often mistaken for its theme. Common subjects for modern short fiction include race, ethnic status, gender, class, and social issues such as poverty, drugs, violence, and divorce. These subjects allow the writer to comment upon the larger theme that is the heart of the fictional work. Some of the major themes of 20th-century short stories, as well as longer forms of fiction, are human isolation, alienation, and personal trauma, such as anxiety; love and hate; male-female relationships; family and the conflict of generations; initiation from innocence to experience; friendship and brotherhood; illusion and reality; self-delusion and self-discovery; the individual in conflict with society·s institutions; mortality; spiritual struggles; and even the relationship between life and art.
A character is a person, or sometimes even an animal, who takes part in the action of a short story or other literary work.
A character is a person or animal who takes part in the action of a work of literature. The main character (protagonist) is the one on whom the story focuses. Sometimes a short story has also minor characters. The minor characters keep the action moving and help you learn more about the main character.
The setting of a short story is the time and place in which it happens. Authors often use descriptions of landscape, scenery, buildings, seasons or weather to provide a strong sense of setting.
Setting refers to the time and place of the action of the story. Generally writers describe setting early in the story to help you picture the events. Sometimes the setting is not described directly but you can infer it through the writer·s description of the movements of the actor in the story.
A plot is a series of events and character actions that relate to the central conflict.
The plot is the series of events that make up a story. Each event has a conflict and struggle faced by the main characters. Each conflict has suspense or a point of excited interest or worry. The suspense grows in intensity with each succeeding event until it reaches the climax or highest point of interest. The climax is the turning point in the story. The story ends soon after the climax with a resolution to the conflict.
Briefly the plot generally includes the following parts: Exposition, which help provides information and introduces the setting and the important characters. Rising action , which introduces and develops the conflict Climax, is the highest point of interest or suspense and is the turning point in the story. Falling action ,it draws the story to a close. Resolution, ties up the loose ends of the story
The conflict is a struggle between two people or things in a short story. The main character is usually on one side of the central conflict. On the other side, the main character may struggle against another important character, against the forces of nature, against society, or even against something inside himself or herself (feelings, emotions, illness).
The theme is the central idea or belief in a short story.