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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 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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How to write a Short Story?

So have you ever wondered on how can you become a short story writer and the method that you could use that will help you come up with a great short story …

So what is the first step ?

The first step is to make an outline or planof your ideas for your story, Organize your ideas under the following headings:

1. The setting or background of your story

2. The character in your story

3. The beginning of the story – your opening sentences

4. the  incredible does happen! ( some interesting events)

5. The incredible  climax

6.Finishing off your story in some satisfying way

I think this plan should help you to write your story.

Also here is a simple guide that can lead you to write a good short story:

http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Short-Story

Visit this link its, the article on wiki-how gives you easy steps that you could use to write a short story.

Also if you want to read some notes on the setting of short story then visit tis link:

https://vixstories.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/the-setting-of-short-story/

 
 

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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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