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Short Story

A short story

is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in

narrative format. This format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas. In contemporary age, it is referred to in metaphorical terms as slice
of life. The short story is a conscious art form, creative in nature, and not a piece of carpentry. Short stories have seven elements but each element cannot be seen in isolation. PLOT. The story usually has one main action made up of episodes or incidents. The arrangement of these smaller narrative structures (i.e., episodes, incidents) constitutes the plot of the story. One must not mistake plot for action. This sequence of episodes or incidents may be chronological in which case it depends on the time element, whether or not the incidents are narrated in the order in which they happen in time. A short story usually makes use of different narrative devices to present the action and to move the story forward. The fiction writer may alternate between

straight narration (in which the narrator states, rather than shows to the reader, what happens) and dramatic presentation (through dialogue and dramatization of action), some writers using one technique more than they do the other. The use of other plot devices may make the short story even more interesting, aside from contributing to structural organization. Such would be the frame-story device (the story within the story), the journey device and stream-of consciousness technique.

CONFLICT. This generates tension necessary to all art. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible to conceive short story without this element. It can be external: pitting man against his god, nature, other men; or it can be internal: man against himself. Conflict can be resolved at the end or be left unsolved. CHARACTER. Characters in a short story can be classified in various ways: as protagonists or antagonists; as round or flat; as dynamic or static(flat or static characters can be caricatures o abstractive idealizations) as stereotypes or individuals, to name a few. Characterization can refer to either an analysis of the personalities of the characters in the story, or to a study of the presentation and development of these characters by the short story writer.

THEME. This is the reason the story depicts its particular slice of life. In the traditional short story, the theme was equivalent to the moral of the story, explicitly stated either in the beginning or somewhere towards the end of the story. The modern short story may be more subtle about expressing theme.

SETTING. Setting refers to both time and place. In traditional short story the writer was primarily concerned with rendering physical descriptions, such as of landscape, a community, a house or even rooms within a house. In modern short story, however, the setting is no longer confined to physical environment but may include, if not concentrate on metaphorical aspects, wherein the settings suggests psychological aspects of the characters or the theme.

POINT OF VIEW. Point of view is the consciousness through which the story is

told. It can be the first person I point of view ( the I in the story does not necessarily have to be the author himself), or the third person point of view, or on rare occasions, the second person. It can be limited to main character or to subordinate character; to observant character, or observer-non-observer, or non-observer/nonparticipant. Or it can be omiscent or all-knowing.

LANGUAGE and STYLE. Language refers toidiom used and how it is used. The story may be written in traditional, literary English or in the English as spoken by a certain Filipino group to whom English is learned as second language, or in English as spoken by an educated group. In any case, the possibilities are endless. Style, on the other hand, is term which may refer to the precise use of language, both literary and figuratively; or, in a broader sense, it may refer to the total working out of the short story, taking all the other elements (character, plot, theme, setting) into consideration.