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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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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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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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25 Guides on How to Write a Short Story!!!

Writing samples: Parker 75

Image by churl via Flickr

Here are some great articles on how to write a short story , and they include different tips and if you want your story to be great then you should make sure that is desirable and interesting from every angle , each article have different tips and information so make sure , you check them out.

  1. How to Write a Short Story – wiki how .
  2.  How to Write a Short Story –  a guide on how to write a short story by ehow.
  3. How to Write a Short Story that Works – this is a free ebook on how to write a short story by Michael Allen , its featured on scribd.com , you can read it there for free.
  4. How to Write a Short Story – these are some Short Story Rules by About.com
  5. How to write a short story –  here is a guide on how to write a short story by Janet Blaylock form Helium
  6. How to write a short story – this is a blog dedicated to short story writing it will teach you from the beginning the art of writing short story
  7. How to Write a short story – this is a great article on ezine articles  .
  8. How to Write A Short Story By Paul Saevig – this is a great article by Pual on writing short stories.
  9. How To Write Short Stories –  this is a post by Emma Newman, author of short story anthology, From Dark Places. its a great post and you should read it.
  10. Seven Step Plan for Short Story Writing – Here is a seven step plan for you to write your short story, the steps are simple and easy to follow.
  11. How to write a short story – by throwing away a short story – Here is a post by Paolo Bacigalupi about a creative way of writing short stories.
  12. Five Step Fiction Writing Formula for a Short Story – this is a 5 step formula for writing a short story.
  13. How To Write Short Stories For Magazines – this is a helpful guide if you want to start writing short stories for magazines.
  14. Lessons on Writing Short Stories – here are 15 lessons to teach you the art of short story
  15. How to Start Writing a Ghost Story – a guide on how to write a ghost story

  16. How to Write a Short Story Quickly – see how can you write a short story in a short time.

  17. How to write and develop the climax in a short story – learn how can you develop a climax in a short story.
  18. How to Write a Short Story – a guide by Rachelle Arlin Credo on writing short stories.
  19. How To Write a Short Story Video tutorial
  20. Awesome Tips on How to Write a Romance Story – some great tips on writing a romance story.
  21. How to Write a Good Story – factors and tips on writing a good short story.
  22. How to write a story – here is a detailed guide filled with information on writing a short story.
  23. How To Write A Children’s Short Story – A comprehensive guide to how to write a child’s story.
  24. How to Tell Any Story in 500 Words – learn how can you write a story of 500 words.
  25. Short Story Editing Guide – and here is a free ebook on how can you edit your short story in a fast, simple, easy way.

And if you have a good link on  how to write a short story please share it below.

 
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How to Read?

Photo credit: the bbp

Books are just like people , some of them are gentle. some of them are funny, some are beautiful, awesome, traitor, curious, and the world is wide enough for all of these… and the library will not be complete , only if it was complete just like the world, where there are different people , which means there must be different kinds of books.

Some people might say to you ” read something that will benefit you” but I say : get benefited from what you read” , because how will you know that a book will benefit you if you did not read it yet?

The reader who picks and read only some specific kinds of books and , is like a sick person who picks and eats some specific kinds of food , this means if you want to be a healthy person you must eat different kinds of food, the same thing apply for reading if you want to be a good reader and you want to have various information on different kinds of stuff then you should read different kinds of books.

I don’t know who told the people to read the book only once, even though you will not be able to digest all the information in that book you read from the first time, this means you might miss some important information and ideas the first time you read the book, but when you repeat the book the second time, you will come across these information and ideas and you will get better understanding of the book
, because a book which is read two times is better than two books , each one of them only once read. Also if you want to study a book and get all the useful things out of it , you will not be able to do that in only one time, it will take some time before you will be able to get  everything and to understand everything from that book.

So the next time you plan to read a book or study it make sure you read it more than once because you will miss a lot of interesting facts, ideas , and information if you only read it once.

Tips to enjoy reading:

  • Read in a place where there is a good lighting
  • Read outdoor in the park or in a garden
  • Make sure the place is quit so that no one will disturb you while you read
  • Read when you are bored and when you are trying to pass time
  • Enjoy a snack with your book
  • Put yourself in the main character’s shoes
  • Get comfortable
 
 

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The Setting of Short Story

Sunrise 30-4-2011

(Photo credit: Mundoo)

Have you ever wondered what are the settings of a short story, well here some information about them:

The setting of a story

The setting means the  time and place that form the background for the story. The settings sometimes play a vital role in the short story where by the setting of the story set the reader’s mode and a good description of the setting will make the reader more eager to keep up and follow the events of the story.

Setting in short story includes:

  • · place –  geographical location. Where is the action of the story taking place?
  • · time – When is the story taking place? (historical period, time of day, year, etc)
  • · weather conditions – Is it rainy, sunny, stormy, etc?
  • · social conditions – What is the daily life of the characters like? Does the story contain local color (writing that focuses on the speech, dress, mannerisms, customs, etc. of a particular place)?
  • · mood or atmosphere – What feeling is created at the beginning of the story? Is it bright and cheerful or dark and frightening?

Points to determine the setting of a story :

  • reference to the time or date
  • the names of the characters
  • description of clothing
  • reference to events
  • description of the characters’ occupations
  • description of the surroundings

Benefits of the setting:

Knowing the setting of the story can give us a picture of where the story is taking place and when it’s taking place. The setting gives the reader a better sense of the story. It allows them to visualize what is going on and connect with the characters better; the setting should be connected to the theme of the story.

Tips when writing  the setting:

  • In a short story you have a limited number of words to convey your message , you must choose your settings carefully & wisely
  • Make the reader of the short story able to imagine themselves and put themselves in the characters positions.
  • Appeal to your reader’s five senses to make your setting more real. Remember to combine setting with characterization and plot of the story.
  • Use two or more senses in your description of setting

Also here is a mind map that you can use to brain-storm some ideas for the setting of short story:

 
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