Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Some thoughts about what constitutes a short story...

A short story...
  • Is a snapshot of a life – rather than the whole of it.
  • Should contain the same elements as a novel – characters, plot, story arc, conflict, character development and transformation – but be significantly shorter and less elaborate than a novel.
  • Focuses on just one conflict
  • Will begin as close to the climax as possible; there’s no time for set-up. A novel can afford to take a more meandering path, but a short story must immediately drop the reader into the world of the story.
  • Will end as quickly, and efficiently as it started, often with a twist.
  • Has one point of view
  • Has two, (or three at most), main characters
  • Is set in one place
  • Covers a short period of time – a few hours to a few days.
  • Be anything up to 5000 words long 

What makes a good short story?
  • Interesting character(s)
  • Interesting events
  • Conflict
  • Resolution
  • An emotional response from the reader
  • Humour
  • A structure
  • A twist
  • Ease of language
  • A voice you want to listen to
  • Emotion
  • Originality

Flash fiction stories have no precise length constraints but don't typically exceed 1,000 words. 
Microfiction stories are sometimes defined as having fewer than 300 words
Drabble fiction – stories with fewer than 100 words
Nano fiction – fewer than 55 words
Twitter fiction, aka twitterature – 140 characters maximum


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