Elements Of A Short Story

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What is a Short Story?

A short story is a short piece of fiction containing elements described in the chart on these pages. It is a prose that has one unit of place, time and action. It is a “bite size” version of a novel. You can finish reading it in just one sitting. It is written by someone with serious artistic intentions who hopes to broaden, deepen, and sharpen your awareness of life. It brings you into the real world enabling you to understand the difficulties of life and to empathize with others. The short story has eight elements to help you understand and enjoy reading it. These elements are plot and structure, character and characterization, theme, setting, point of view, tone and style, symbol, allegory and fantasy, humor and
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An internal conflict takes place within the mind of a character who is torn between opposing feelings or between different courses of action. This is also called dilemma a conflict within or for one person.

Most plots develop in five stages:

1. Exposition introduces the story’s characters, setting, and conflict.

2. Rising action occurs as complications, twists, or intensifications of the conflict occur.

3. Climax is the emotional high point of the story. It is the most exciting part of the story.

4. Falling action is the logical result of the climax.

5. Resolution presents the final outcome of the story. It may be happy, unhappy or indeterminate.

Character and Characterization

Character is a verbal representation of a human being. Every story needs characters: people, animals, or any other creatures. The character is either a protagonist “the good guy” or antagonist “the bad guy”. A character is also classified as: flat, round, stock, static or developing.

Types of
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The character can be summed up in just a few lines. Example: A father who is strict from the beginning to the end of the story. Round Character is complex and many faceted; has the qualities of real people. Example: In the story, he is a father, a goon, an executive, etc. Static Character is a character that remains essentially the same throughout. Example: The daughter who remains a baby from start to finish. Developing Character is a character that undergoes a significant change during the story. There are three conditions that regulate change: Example: A daughter who suffers from the beginning, strives hard to better her life and become rich, helps her parents and become happy at the end, or vice-versa.

1. It must be consistent with the individual’s characterization as dramatized in the story. 2. It must be sufficiently motivated by the circumstances in which the character is
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