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Notes on short stories

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I CAN , I WILL , I MUST

THIS IS SOMETHING THAT ALWAYS MAKES ME GOING WHEN I M GIVING UP …..
HOPE IT HELPS 🙂

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The Elements of Short Story

Pen & book

(Photo credit: Jain Basil Aliyas)

The Elements of short story:

They are the things that the short story is based upon  , and  its important for every story writer to make sure that he had got these things done right, in order to have a good coherent. There are five Elements:

1.The Setting

The setting of a story is the time and place , in another words its when and where does the short story happens , also the setting of a story might include the weather conditions , social conditions , mood and atmosphere , and these are the things that makes the story come to life, and here is more information about the setting of short story.

2. Character

The characters are a main part of the story, and they should be given good amount of attention, often the story revolves and develop around the characters , you should choose a good way to revel your character to your reader  , to describe it and choose the most fitting description you want to give that character which perfectly describe the personality, feelings, actions , thoughts, and life of that character. Take a look here at the techniques used to reveal and describe a person character in short story.

3. Theme

The theme in fiction writing is the writer main idea or thoughts and insights at he is trying to convey through his writing and usually the theme of a short story is to be known after finishing the story as the reader was able to come across all the ideas and thoughts of the story. Here are some simple examples of common themes: Things are not always as they appear to be , People are afraid of change ,Love is blind , etc.

4. Plot

Generally the plot is the sequence of events in a story or play. The plot is a planned, logical series of  events having a beginning, middle, and end. There are five important parts of the plot:

Introduction:The beginning of the story where the writer introduce his characters and reveals the setting of the story .

Rising Action: This is where the events in the story become complicated and the conflict in the story starts to rise it includes the events between the introduction and the climax.

Climax: This is the highest point of conflict and the turning point of the story. The reader wonders what will happen next; will the conflict be resolved or not?

Falling action: The events and complications begin to resolve themselves. The reader knows what has happened next and if the conflict was resolved or not, it includes the events between the climax and resolution.

Resolution: This is the final outcome or untangling of events in the story.

5.CONFLICT

Conflict is a very important thing  to the plot. Without conflict there is no plot. It is the thing which ties one incident to another and makes the plot move. Conflict is not merely limited to open arguments, rather it is any form of opposition that faces the main character. Within a short story there may be only one central struggle, or there may be one dominant struggle with many minor ones.

And at last but not least here is a video to summon up the talk on the Elements of Short Story

 

 
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How to reveal – describe a person character in a Short Story ?

Writing sample: Lamy Vista

Writing sample: Lamy Vista (Photo credit: churl)

 

The characters are a main part of the story , as often the story revolves around them , so a lot of attention should be paid to them while writing your short story.  To have a good characters you should use the right techniques to write them … One of the techniques is how can you revel the personality, the description of the character to your reader , now there are many ways in which you can do that, and it depends on your story which way you should use. Here are some few ways which you can make use of to  reveal your character. I hope this might help you in figuring out the right way to reveal your character.

 

You can reveal the personality of your character through these ways :

 

  • What a character says – dialogue

 

Character dialogue can be in either the character speaks to him/herself, or speak  to another character.The words that the character speak also define the personality of the character ,a scientist character will speak differently from what a poor child character might say , and thats what add a style to the dialogue.

 

  • What character does – actions  

 

The character’s actions and behavior throughout the story defines his characteristics, young characters often do reckless deeds , unlike wise old characters , however the actions of the characters and how the character suppose to act in a particular situation depends on the role of the character in your story.

 

  • What a character thinks – thoughts

 

The character’s thoughts often let the reader know the feelings, and intentions of the character and it makes the reader understand more about the personality of the character.

 

  • What others say about the character

 

Here the characteristics of the character are being described by another character inside the story.

 

  • What the author says about the character

 

In this way the characteristics can be described through the Narrator  of the story.

 

 

 
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Looking for Easy Tools to improve your writing??

Writing

Image by J. Paxon Reyes via Flickr

So if you are looking for easy tools and easy ways to improve your writing , I think I have what you are looking for… here are some tools and tips that I have collected from around the web , why not take a look at them and see if they are really what you are looking for…

50 Tools that can Improve your Writing Skills : here are some handful of tips that have been collected by Dumb Little Man , you will find  50 tips , each tip include a link , these tips can be a great help to you to improve your writing skills.

Also I have included   some useful related articles that can make your writing better.

 
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how to break down a short story into scenes

Writing

Writing short stories sometimes require you to break your story into parts , each part have a different theme, a different setting , a different kind of description , and these parts are called scences , here is an example of some of the common scenes as Elise Stephens say in her post

Common scenes: An opening scene, a conclusion scene, a flashback scene, a fight scene, a restitution scene.

Scenes make up the parts on which the story is built and developed , if you wan to know more about scenes and how can you come up with some scenes for your next short story , then i think you should see this post:

Writing Scene-by-Scene by Elise Stephens

 
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Poll: What do you want to read in Vix Stories?

 
 

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How to describe a setting using Personiofication???

Leaves

Image by Big Grey Mare via Flickr

The setting of a short story is very important part, getting the setting right , and making it good means you will have a good story. There are many things and techniques used to describe and create the setting, one of these things which are used to create the setting is using Personifications.

So What is a Personification?

Personification is when something described as if it is alive when it is not.

For example:

The leaves danced in the gentle breeze

The verb “danced” is not usually used for leaves and makes them sound human. They don’t decide to dance, but the breeze makes them look as though they are dancing.

 

So now we know what is a Personification , but how can we use it in creating the setting of a short story????

To answer this question let’s read the extract below ,it’s from the opening of the novel Bleak House, by Charles Dickens .

Fog everywhere, Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tires of shipping , and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes; fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards , and hovering in the rigging of great ships , fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the toes wrathful skipper, down in his close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of his shivering little ‘prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog al around them, as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds.

We can see from the above the different use of personifications in creating the atmosphere and the setting of short story.

Some of the personifications from the opening:

  • where it rolls defiled among the tires of shipping
  • fog lying out on the yards
  • hovering in the rigging of great ships
  • fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers

and still there are more personifications in the above opening, the above opening is a good example of showing how can we use personifications to describe and create the setting of the story and come up with a great setting just like what Charles Dickens did.

You might ask why some of the sentences are short like ” Fog everywhere ” , that is not a really sentence because it does not have a verb. However, it is dramatic and it instantly sets the scene, and that is why Dickens used it.

Personifications can be used to describe the setting of short stories and they make the story interesting, creative and unique.

Every sentence in the extract, apart from the last one, follows the same structure. They start with ‘Fog’ and then describe where the fog is. Have a go at writing a similar paragraph following the same structure, like this:

Rain everywhere. Rain….

You can use this as an exercise to practice using personifications.

 
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