Literary Term Short Story

Literary Term Short Story

A short story is a brief work of fiction that typically focuses on a single event, character, or idea. It’s a straightforward narrative that aims to arouse emotions, convey a message, or explore a theme within a limited space. Short stories usually have fewer characters and a simpler plot, but they can be just as impactful. They often contain elements like a clear setting, character development, a central conflict, and a resolution. 

Famous short stories are “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry, “The Luncheon” by William Somerset Maugham, “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne and “Araby’’ by James Joyce.

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  • Shortness: Short stories are straightforward narratives with a limited word count, typically ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand words. They focus on a single incident, idea, or character.
  • Focused Plot: Due to their shortness, short stories usually have a single plotline with a clear beginning, middle, and end. They often circle a central conflict or theme.
  • Character Development: While shorter in length, short stories can still feature well-developed characters. Authors use straightforward descriptions and actions to reveal the characters’ qualities and motivations.
  • Limited Setting: Short stories often occur in a confined setting or a limited number of locations. This constraint helps maintain focus on the central theme or conflict.
  • Economical Use of Language: Every word counts in a short story. Authors carefully choose words to convey meaning, emotion, and atmosphere efficiently.
  • Single Theme or Message: Short stories manage to explore a single theme, idea, or message. Authors use the limited space to give depth through symbolism, imagery, or subtext.

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  • Impactful Endings: Due to their shortness, short stories often conclude with a twist, revelation, or a poignant resolution. This leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

These characteristics collectively contribute to the artistry of short stories. These characteristics allow authors to craft influential records within a limited space.

Riya Akter
Riya Akter
Hey, This is Riya Akter Setu, B.A (Hons) & M.A in English from National University.


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