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  1. en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Short_storyShort story - Wikipedia

    Short stories date back to oral storytelling traditions which originally produced epics such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and Homer 's Iliad and Odyssey. Oral narratives were often told in the form of rhyming or rhythmic verse, often including recurring sections or, in the case of Homer, Homeric epithets. Such stylistic devices often acted ...

    • Character. Characters in books are well-drawn. There's a lot of time spent on character development and backstory. That's not needed for short stories.
    • Want/Goal. The central character needs to want something—even if it’s a glass of water, as Kurt Vonnegut famously said. (They can also not want something.
    • Conflict. Obstacles and complications need to make the protagonist's journey hard, and these types of conflicts should raise the stakes as the protagonist tries to achieve their want/goal.
    • Decisions. If characters sit around watching the world go by, there's no story plot. A character needs to make decisions at every turn to drive the story forward.
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  3. A short story is a work of prose fiction that can be read in one sitting—usually between 20 minutes to an hour. There is no maximum length, but the average short story is 1,000 to 7,500 words, with some outliers reaching 10,000 or 15,000 words. At around 10 to 25 pages, that makes short stories much shorter than novels, with only a few ...

    • “Speaking in Tongues” by ZZ Packer. Tia, disillusioned with her strict Pentecostal upbringing in a sleepy Southern town, escapes her great-aunt’s clutches to find her mother in Atlanta.
    • “Viewfinder” by Raymond Carver. “Viewfinder” has a simple premise: a traveling photographer takes a photo of the narrator’s house, sells it to him on his doorstep, and is invited in for coffee.
    • “We Love You Crispina” by Jenny Zhang. Zhang’s 2017 short story collection Sour Heart chronicles the rough-and-tumble lives of recently immigrated Chinese-American living in downtown Manhattan.
    • “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor. This short story sent shock waves through the American literary establishment when it was first published in 1953.
    • The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde. The Happy Prince is one of the best stories written in English Literature written by Oscar Wilde. The story shows how the elites of that kingdom neglect the poor.
    • The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In the short story The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte sheds light on the difficulties faced by the narrator of the story, due to depression after childbirth.
    • The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” is another wonderful example of a short horror story. In the story, the anonymous narrator tells about the murder of an old man that he has committed in cold blood because he had ‘vulture eyes’.
    • The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin. This story is an extraordinary piece of its time. Louise Mallard, probably oppressed by her husband, is relieved when she sees the prospects of freedom after the death of her husband.
  4. short story, brief fictional prose narrative that is shorter than a novel and that usually deals with only a few characters. The short story is usually concerned with a single effect conveyed in only one or a few significant episodes or scenes. The form encourages economy of setting, concise narrative, and the omission of a complex plot ...

  5. There are basically 6 elements to a short story: 1. Setting: Time and location of when and where the story takes place. Often significant in understanding the short story. Items to consider ...

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