• Brief work of prose fiction
• Differs from anecdote—the unelaborated narration of a single incident
• Like a novel, a short story organizes the action, thought, and dialogue of its
characters into the artful pattern of plot, directed toward particular effects on an
• Plot form may be comic, tragic, romantic, or satiric
• The story presented to us from one of many available points of view; it may be
written in mode of fantasy, realism or naturalism.
• Narrative: a story, whether told in prose or verse, involving events, characters, and
what the characters say and do. Many literary forms are told by narrator.
• POV: way story gets told. Established by an author by means of which the reader
is presented with the characters, dialogue, actions, setting, and events which
constitute the narrative in a work of fiction.
• Third person narrative: told by someone outside the story. May be omniscient (all
knowing), limited, intrusive (both reports and evaluates the action), or unintrusive
(objective speaker that only delineates action).
• First person: limits the matter of the narrative to what the first person narrator
knows, experiences, infers, or discovers.
• Second person
• EdgarAllen Poe:
o father of short story; made it popular inAmerican culture.
o Suggests that short story should be read in one sitting (30 mins to two
o Strive for unity of effect.Aim was to create a mood, an ambience, or an
o Begin with first sentence
o Have nothing in it that detracts from the design. Should lead directly and
inevitably to conclusion without excess. Get to the point and stay there.
o Aim for truth
o Stress imagination, invention, creation and originality
• Five components that construct short story
Persons represented in a narrative work
Flat character: built around a single idea or quality and is presented
without much detail (background nerds in Saved by the Bell)
Round character: complex in temperament and motivation is
represented with subtle particularity; such a character is as difficult
to describe with adequacy as a person in real life (Walter White in
Struggle between two people or things in a short story. Main