5 Important Elements of a Short Story
The information on this page can be found at: http://www.kvhigh.com/documents/notes/urquhart/elements.html
I have shortened it a bit for my purpose.
|A short story is a short work of fiction that contains between 1500 to 3000 words. Some short stories can be longer up to 10000 words. Fiction is prose writing. It is usually about imagined events and characters. Prose writing differs from poetry in that it does not depend on verses, meters or rhymes for its organization and presentation. Short Story writers from Canada have won many awards for their craft of the story.|
The Five Elements of a Short Story
|Plot - The arrangement of incidents or small events in the story.
Some are more important than others to the solution of the conflict.
|Conflict - There are two basic types:
|Atmosphere - This element has a closer connection to the setting because the setting often determines the atmosphere. The atmosphere is the mood or tone of the story. Physical surroundings affect a character and determine his mood. Atmosphere is usually established at the beginning of the story. It takes in characters, clothing, furniture, natural surroundings, light, darkness, shadows, weather.|
|Setting - The physical background of the story - where and when the story takes place.|
|Character - The plot needs characters that have tension between
them. The main character is placed in a situation that contains a problem he
must overcome. Most stories also have minor characters who either help or
hinder the main character's attempt to solve his problem. Characters always
have motivation. Something that makes him/er behave that way?
We learn about a character by examining 5 areas:
In character analysis, look at the character's dialogue; his appearance; his actions; his environment; his character type; what motivates the character; is his motivation consistent?.
|Style - The ways the author expresses himself and conveys his ideas
and central purpose. Style is very personal - no two writing styles are alike.
In order to determine a writer's style, we must look at the following areas:
Author's Use to Help Bring their story to life.
They generally use sensory images:
Imagery - There are two types:
|3. Irony refers to some sort of discrepancy between what is expected
and what actually happens.
4. Symbols are essential to the short story writer because they
A symbol has complex meaning;
It not only has a "literal" meaning, but also additional meaning (s) beyond the literal. A symbol may have more than one meaning. In fact, the most significant symbols do convey an indefinite range of meanings.
In the context of Christian symbolism, a tree can refer to the cross on which Jesus was crucified. Thus, in the right context, a tree can suggest a much wider range of meaning than its simple, literal meaning. A knight may mean good manners or chivalry. Some color symbols are: White - Innocence and purity; Yellow - New life and new beginnings; Brown - Poverty and earth. Some symbols are conventional or public, thus, “the cross”, “the red, white and blue”, “the good shepherds”, are the terms that signify symbolic significance objects of which the further significance is fixed and traditional in a particular culture.
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