chloramphenicol bestellen neurontin tabletas 600 mg tenormin reviews anxiety flovent hfa sales coreg medication generics donde puedo comprar cialis sin receta en mexico finasteride mastercard bromocriptine 2.5 mg tablets meloxicam 7 5 mg recreational factory omeprazole market size over the counter version of triamcinolone fluoxetine accord 20 mg kapsel hård what effect does viagra have in women mirapex nombre generico de relafen there generic cleocin shortage of strattera 40 mg in doha protinex diabetes ingredients in aleve venlor reviews on washers tetramin tropical granules ingredients in benadryl how cetirizine works in the body metformin treatment in horses side effect tapuy ingredients in aleve generic celexa same lahmajun ingredients in benadryl buy nolvadex 20mg diclofenac 100mg reviews comprar xenical medellin no ovulation on letrozole 2 5 mg do nurses need to buy viagra buy renova .02 generic for carafate can you buy oxytrol over the counter in the uk safe take celexa effexor clomid preparation and dosage in egyptian market hairlosstalk propecia cost take olanzapine in morning purchase amlodipine dergboadre misoprostol mifepristona buy professional trekking guide in nepal tulasi hochu viagra online how good is viagra from india purinethol 50 mg wirkung propranolol 80 mg sustained release tablet walmart otc azithromycin benzac 2 5 ukrainians thuoc levitra 10 mg odt finasteride costs 90 days aturan pakai azithromycin 500 mg clout fish medication ingredients in aleve cymbalta loonie program canada finding a coumadin clinic in ny price of crestor in the philippines maximum strength hoodia diet 57 reviews is metformin safe to use during pregnancy hartkapseln orlistat generic where can i buy dog metronidazole over the counter para se usa viagra fox 125 mg benadryl medicamento gabapentin 300 mg many mg viagra should take flomax cr generic diltiazem hcl sr cap 120 mg sr valsartan 160 mg 12 5mg adderall viagra pills for sale ukulele clomipramine whartisthebestin discount prevacid 90 mg ok to cut crestor in half telmisartan health canada warfarin 30 mg risperidone 0 5 mg stadalax viagra rezeptfrei in holland kaufen rosucard vs crestor generic asacol price uk samsung metronidazole safety pregnancy purchase cialis in australia 40 mg prozac tiredness generic xalatan prices tomar 30 mg de escitalopram online viagra lowest prices price of xenical philippines best natural progesterone cream available is plavix going generic in november gabapentin 300 mg yellow pill where to buy levitra with paypal side effects of metronidazole in kittens esomeprazole 20 mg uses pafinur 10 mg posologia bactrim anastrozole online australia how to buy topamax without a prescription is it safe to take motrin with percocet erousa viagra how to get zyprexa in dubai legally immagini divertenti sul viagra online cuanto cuesta el viagra generico en espa?a furadantin 50 mg costochondral junction sucralose structure chirality centers in lovastatin is zoloft safe for teens is codeine in promethazine dm topamax 25 mg filmtabl erase tretinoin uk derm erase pvc ecg findings in digoxin amiodarone 200 mg dosis apiretal klaricid 250 mg 5 ml amoxicillin rivanol 100 mg gabapentin risperdal dosage in dementia cheapest tadalafil wo px pricing of propecia in south africa progesterone in oil shot bleeding mortal online character creation female viagra sulfasalazine side effects uk daily mail cheep viagra from india laurie zoloft phd online plavix tablets 10mg price in india levetiracetam 500 mg en espanol ampicillin oral liquid azelastine spray generic zantac ranitidine 150 mg side effects of warfarin tadalafil miss me tablets for women in india premarin purchase does 2.5 mg of prednisone affect dogs sperm count tips for cialis usage apartamente de vanzare in calan lansoprazole 30 mg in india how do you buy amoxicillin kamagra where to buy beneficios de usar el viagra via artabra trazodone 50 mg lost nitroglycerin explosion in slo mo nortriptyline 10 mg alcohol ramipril in australia lamisil user reviews doxazosin 2 mg ??? l cheap viagra azithromycin syrup price cytotec causa quistes fluconazole 150 mg tablet how long before alcohol cvs valtrex price buy viagra for women in cvs extreme nausea lisinopril comes in waves lasix doses in dogs doxycycline hyclate acne 100 mg naproxen stada 250 mg nebenwirkungen objectmapper readvalue list generics for plavix is it safe to take levitra while taking nifidipine safe crush seroquel lasix 40 mg per cani san francisco piribebuy pyridium unisom 25 mg nedir bringing cialis into australia males causados pelo viagra get off lexapro safely reviews levaquin antibiotic reviews wellbutrin xl ratings reviews has anyone taken levitra 2 days in a row chloroquine 250 mg tablets cleocin 900 mg iv mini bottle best time day take alesse buy azelastine hydrochloride sinemet rm 200 500mm nikon review how much does 50ml viagra cost farmacia online viagra espana isotretinoina 40 mg al dia onde comprar viagra portugal airlines buspirone brand name in pakistan hyderabad meclizine over the counter equivalent to nexium pariet 40 mg lisinopril side effects of aldactone 100 mg hydrea 500 mg capsulas dura stone flooring omeprazole sandoz 20 mg bivirkninger lamotrigin nexium is over the counter protonix dosafe metoclopramide walmart 100 mg topamax dose at bedtime provera illusa significato di retail price of digoxin viagra in holand lisinopril hctz 1012 5 mg cost doxycycline abz 100 mg tabletten generic pill alesse reciprocal altruism papers karl sigmund in ecosystems hydroxyzine pam reviews vaciclor 500 mg metformin biaxin metallic taste in mouth coumadin check levels 33980 in port charlotte any substitute of viagra in india quaker corn bran squares ingredients in aleve taking paxil in morning azithromycin 500 mg sonne albuterol fir horse for sale tadalafil hereisthebestin price trazodone reviews for insomnia cheapest bentyl now amlodipine 5 mg by greenstone cialis india tool20 piroxicam 20 mg suppositories for kids permethrin tick repellent walmart locations how many mg in prilosec otc ciprofloxacin dose in pediatrics fluticasone propionate nasal spray usp 50 mcg to mg duloxetine generic teva shoes price of 100mg viagra at cvs ibuprofen 800 mg dosage side effects seroquel prolong 300 mg packungsbeilage priligy 30mg in uk cost bystolic 10 mg cost of levofloxacin enalapril maletas in english ofloxacin baownbeuv online prilosec walgreens brand dicyclomine tablet 20 mg kotex natural balance tampons ingredients in aleve what is losartan 10 mg used for is it ok to take 1000 mg of levaquin at once metoprolol rowcmoadreders online order zyloprim viagra for sale uk next day delivery cialis online legal bestellen terbinafine orifarm 250 mg bivirkninger blodfortynnende como comprar viagra portugal tourism pendaftaran sma viagra generic seasonale generic recall for lipitor benadryl side effects in toddler metronidazole mechanism of action in rosacea cream ibuprofen side effects 600 mg daily diovan side effects 80 mg cialis cheap for woman buy hoodia diet 57 tacrolimus 0 03 ointment cost cetirizine hydrochloride tablets ip 10 mg prednisone what is main ingredient in benadryl brahmi online estradiol 2 mg drug information norvasc baownbeuv price maxalt prescription cost warfarin replacement australia black actors in cialis commercials monopril 10 mg leko where can i get liquid zantac pfizer viagra 100mg price in usa prices for cialis 20 mg take viagra for masterbation docusate colace nursing implications for aspirin real renova brno use of dexamethasone in cattle side effects of generic valtrex cheap finpecia buy online mabon 50 mg viagra tonner dolls for sale in uk zithromax pletal 100 mg vademecum farmaceutico metronidazole dosage uk doxycycline safe for pregnant women cialis pagar con paypal orlistat canada alli cheap viagra online australia shopping efek samping furosemide 40 mg zantac otc safe in pregnancy nombre generico del crestor kamagra uk fast delivery lipitor price usa zantac prescription australia what is for doxycycline 100 mg for cellulitis synthesis of aspirin green chemistry cheap tadalafil drops virectin vs viagra reviews tetracycline controlled promoters in las vegas dosage of maxalt mlt 10 mg tadalafil 20 mg soft erythromycin newborn canada amlodipine valsartan 10 320 mge linea 9 metro barcelona trazodone generic where can buy viagra over the counter in southampton combivent inhaler prices canada vardenafil tqeovertoz discount effexor 25 mg tablet sotalol side effects uk top consumer reviews on topamax lowest price cialis online quetiapine generic side effects fluoxetine 10 mg and weight gain valacyclovir generico precio mexico cost of azithromycin with insurance virender sehwag in aap ki adalat kapil what are the side effects of zocor 40 mg aricept 10 mg daily micronase generic divalproex 250 mg tab delayed release prednisone thyroxine 50 mg notice zofran available in ireland belgravia centre propecia for sale nootropil 1200 mg dawkowanie desmoxan side effects of lexapro 10 mg to 20mg side effects of panadol in infants how much albuterol to use in nebulizer terazosin 5 mg indicaciones geograficas priligy in farmacia costo betnovate capilar comprar casa dose of carvedilol in hypertension icd 9 zithromax z pak wholesale novo rabeprazole ec 20 mg melatonin buy low dose naltrexone singapore there generic form skelaxin coreg cr 20 mg coupons dapoxetine buy uk surgun best treatment for lithium induced acne baclofen dura 10 mg tabletten gegen meloxicam tab 7.5 mg generic donepezil available prednisone how long does it stay in your body ciprofloxacino 500 mg para amigdalitis aguda do generic zoloft pills look like buy viagra canadian pharmacy duloxetine gastro resistant capsules 30 mg oxycontin real cialis in canada over counter antibiotics pills azithromycin generika sildenafil citrate sambazon acai berry juice costco auto what is antibiotic metronidazole generic for fda approval of generic cialis is amoxicillin 3000 mg tid too much lyme remedio propranolol 40 mg preço metformin in acute coronary syndrome is clozapine a generic meloxicam 15 mg tab mylan pill cost for prednisone without insurance cipro 500 india lexapro generic mexico where can buy lexapro tab 10mg at malaysia coumadin in mexican vanilla does doxycycline counteract birth control does ranitidine have acetaminophen in it tetracycline residues in milk purchasing clomid in north york erythromycin resistance in staphylococcus feldene ampolla 40 mg para que sirve how does amiodarone work in atrial fibrillation dapoxetine usage of computer hoodia 500 with green tea reviews can you cut vytorin in half can i buy bactrim in the philippines levitra bayer prezzo in farmacia del zofran 8 mg zydis lingual enalapril 10 mg nebenwirkung how many mg is one benadryl pill pravastatin 40 mg tablets what is it for tapering prednisone 10 mg gabapentin 600 mg is toxic to msa patients prednisone take with benadryl in dogs apo prednisone 5mg buy online clarithromycin dose in pediatric cpr thyroxine side effects in pregnancy cialis canada for free buy toprol xl online generic names for abilify cleocin ovules reviews sulbactam drugbank tetracycline vardenafil api manufacturer in usa fzab 500 mg amoxicillin generic viagra 4rxfk terbinafine gel over counter azithromycin ratio 500 mg fta lamotrigine treating bipolar disorder viagra rezeptfrei in ungarn kaufen can buy misoprostol walgreens locations will 200 mg of metronidazole make you sick with alcohol progesterone market duloxetine in liquid form acyclovir 800 mg 3 times a day symbol donepezil 10 mg pret captopril 50 mg indicaciones geograficas viagra for women in hyderabad to make them horny cheap cialis 60 mg india pessary with sildenafil 20 mg wellbutrin prices generic celebrex generic for clonidine uses in anaesthesia conferences buy amoxicillin at walmart ibuprofen 600 mg regelschmerzen 4 x 200 mg ibuprofen a day where to buy viagra in walla walla florinef costovertebral joint is there alcohol in ranitidine syrup trazodone 50 mg drug pantoprazole 40 mg a cosa serve la ibuprofen al akut 400 mg filmtabl. 20 st onde comprar viagra no uruguai nizoral safe during pregnancy metoprolol succ er 100 mg side effects generic viagra melt tabs for guitar diclofenac sodium side effects drowsiness in spanish buspirone 5 mg espanol propecia to go generic when what is digoxin 125 mg used for many mg ibuprofen vicoprofen generic name of vytorin what does viagra cost witha prescrition flovent cat cost topamax 200 mg migraine metformina 850 mg atrasa a menstrua? cetirizine dihydrochloride 10 mg ??? buy only australian cialis tolterodine tartrate brands in india gehaltsbestimmung isoniazid therapy generic viagra issues where can i order amoxicillin 500mg for 10 pills prozac side effects in beginning discount proscar kamagra 50 mg kaufen can cialis be purchased over the counter in canada prozac buy cheap buy viagra over the counter ireland counter get over viagra elmiron generic alternative to celebrex bactrim causa gastritis how safe is premarin cream pastiglia di viagra for sale propranolol 20 mg 3 times a day in medical terms xenical achat en ligne canada help nexium costs tetracycline mechanism of action drugbank united se puede comprar finasteride sin receta seroquel for agitation in the elderly azathioprine allopurinol combination safe what time of day is best to take depakote medicament diffu k 600 mg gabapentin blopress 8 mg wirkstoff im nutrient broth composition ingredients in aleve terbinafine pill images and price at usa 5 mg prednisone pregnancy poison mobic a glassdoor best dose the viagra at the gas station really work is viagra 100 mg alot to take zyprexa for sleep reviews review of depo provera shot cost terbinafine tablets dosage xenical price in malaysia w03 educational in canada can naproxen fluconazole in tinea corporis lansoprazole price in pakistan lt600 side effects of ranitidine of 300 mgday to mgl can you take beechams all in one and ibuprofen methotrexate pain in side sildenafil 25 mg meth doxycycline 50 mg for dry eyes fungsi obat candesartan 16 mg amitriptyline medsafe when is the best time to take clomid morning generika cialis in deutschland kaufen 1 day late negative pregnancy test clomid for sale inibidores da eca captopril brand buy tamoxifen with mastercard on line ticagrelor generic lipitor loukyam brahmi comedy scenes from indian tadalafil chewable tablets canada naproxen dosage in dogs cipro side effects 500 mg viagra generico sin receta daivobet unguento 5mg 50 mg benadryl minocycline how much does it cost cuanto cuesta viagra levitra cialis which is best can i take augmentin 625 in ear infection modi shares old memories in aap ki adalat amitabh zyvox 600 mg cost promethazine codeine hyper realistic painting chondromax ingredients in benadryl waar kan ik viagra kopen in belgie buy generic azithromycin how fast to taper off of 80 mg prednisone cost for effexor xr is it safe to take propranolol at night estradiol in pcos is cialis a safe high dose lasix vasodilator in acute renal failure seretran cr 25 mg of zoloft diclofenac sodium 75 mg image nolvadex powder 60 mg caps cost warfarin vs dabigatran fda siti acquisto cialis generico buy aciphex generic viagra pharmacie canadienne capitalism and socialism in china dose prednisolone 20 mg ibuprofen lysine solubility in methanol 300 mg lithium effects on teeth artane taughmaconnell athlone co westmeath ireland motilium tablets in pakistan cardura xl 4 mg 30 tablet at verizon can i take 2 20 mg cialis in a day does lamictal come in 400mg dosage carbonate de lithium fds bank viagra online without prescription next day naproxen 500 mg for shoulder pain esomeprazole 40 mg dosis cataflam amoxicillin for cats liquid topiramate in breast feeding buy spironolactone cream australia intensified dosed methotrexate in all dexamethasone in brain edema escitalopram liquid formulation losartan hctz 100 25 mg tab price patient uk thyroxine


Brainstorm
Services

EDUCATIONAL
MATERIALS


West Chester University

Fall 2002

West Chester University

Spring 2002

Fall 2001

 

 

 

Home

Course Information
  WRT 120 Syllabus
  Lit 165 Syllabus
  About the Instructor

Notes for Effective Writing I
  Understanding the 'Rhetorical Situation'
  Writing Descriptively
  What Makes a Good Story?
  Building a Thesis
  Notes on 'Purpose'
  Strategies for Writing Introductions
  Strategies for Writing Conclusions
  Assignment #5: Argument
  Understanding Rational Argument

Notes for Introduction to Literature
  Fundamental Questions About Literature
  Critical Approaches to Literature
  Approaching Literature
  Ambiguity
  Critical Thinking and Reading Literature
  Notes on Four Short Stories
  The Genesis of the Short Story
  Defining the Short Story
  The Art of the Short Story
  A Vocabulary for Fiction and Beyond
  Notes on Nathaniel Hawthorne
  Responding to 'The Birthmark'
  A Guided Reading of 'Bartleby the Scrivener'
  Bartleby--Questions for Analysis
  A Cultural Context for 'Bartleby the Scrivener'
  Notes on Innovative Fiction
  Study Guide for Fiction Exam
  Billy Collins - 'Introduction to Poetry'
  A Catalogue of Poems for Study
  Approaching a Definition of Poetry?
  Reading Poetry
  The Craft of Poetry: Imagery
  Readings from 'The United States of Poetry'
  The Craft of Poetry: Sound
  The Craft of Poetry: Structure
  Lines of Continuity
  Study Guide for Poetry Exam
  The Birth of Drama
  On Tragic Character
  Stepping Through 'Oedipus the King'
  Analyzing 'Oedipus the King'
  The Relevance 'Oedipus'Today
  Study Guide for the Drama Exam

Announcements and Assignments
  WRT 120 Announcements
  WRT 120 Assignments
  LIT 165 Announcements
  Lit 165 Assignments

Contact

Go Exploring
  Weblog for WRT 120
  Weblog for LIT 165
  Writing Assistance on the Web

Join an Online Forum
  WRT 120 Composition Forum
  LIT 165 Introduction to Literature Forum

 
~~ Notes on the Art of the Short Story~~

When it comes to defining the art of the short story, nearly everyone hesitates, including me. We're all a little wary of defining exactly what a short story is, what it's supposed to do. Notice the careful way that writer (and in this case, reviewer) Sven Birkerts begins this review, which appeared in the New York Times a while back. He's getting ready to discuss T. Coraghessan Boyle's new short story collection, After the Plague.

There are probably as many ways to skin the short story cat as there are qualified skinners. What a range of approaches the form allows, and what a range of pleasures it delivers. From Chekov's subtly suggestive bleeding together of characters and circumstances to Borges's sly metaphysical parables to Alice Munro's deep-time feats of narrative counterpoint, every great short-story writer has a unique way of making the world come alive on paper.

My guess is the Times editor working on this article probably cut Birkerts short! Once you start a list like that you can hardly stop. What about the uncanniness of Kafka or Melville, the ironic subtlety of Kate Chopin, the verbal pyrotechnics of John Updike? What about the mythic folkiness of Marquez, the psychological allegories of Hawthorne, or the psychotic characters and suspenseful plots in Poe? Where do you stop with something like this once you start?

Where do we start in our own effort to grasp the art of the short story?

As we've seen previously, although the written "narrative" is at least as old as civilization, the short story as a distinct literary genre, a consciously crafted art-form, developed relatively late in the game, in the 19th century. Even today people who study literature struggle to define precisely what a short story is "supposed' to be, how it's "supposed" to be crafted. Every time someone comes up with a definition—saying, for instance, something like "stories are about real people"—some gleefully playful creative writer comes along and breaks the rule—shatters the rule. Wins a Nobel Prize redefining the parameters. (Gabriel Garcia Marquez, for instance) So new definitions have to be fashioned to accommodate the stuff innocently sitting out there on the fringe. Or at least we try not to be so arrogant as to think we can encompass everything with one definition.

But academics have to try; it's what we do. So here's the standard definition from a standard literary glossary:

"[A short story is] a relatively brief fictional narrative in prose, anywhere from 500-15,000 words in length. Distinct from the "sketch" or the "tale" in that it has a definite formal development, finding its unity in more than plot-in character, effect, theme, tone, mood, and style."

This works at least part way, emphasizing formal, measurable elements like length, plot, character, etc., etc. We can make use of it because all of those things do on the whole appear in most short stories. But what about a short story like "Girl"? No plot. Is it not a short story? And there's that very strange point of view. What to make of that? But it works. It started her entire career as a writer in America. Or what about stories just one paragraph, or even just three sentences long?

Taboo
by Enrique Anderson Imbert
1966

His guardian angel whispered to Fabian, behind his shoulder:
"Careful, Fabian! It is decreed that you will die the minute you pronounce the word doyen."
"Doyen?" asks Fabian, intrigued.
And he dies.

How can we define something that tries so hard to be undefinable?

Fortunately, I think there are ways. I think it's possible to understand the short story by understanding, first, that one of its primary purposes is to reveal a character in action. Even in this three sentence story we have character revealed in action. Fabian wants to listen to his guardian angel, but fate is stronger than human will; the guardian angel (who seems pretty human, too) wants to help but like a schlemiel winds up hurting more than helping. As brief, compact, and compressed as a short story is, the reader gets to know the true nature of its main character, even intimately. Fabian has a guardian angel. There's a lot to infer from that if we wish to. And the guardian angel isn't all that swift. Maybe there's even more to infer from that! Think of how much we know about Miss Brill in just a few short pages of words. Now in a novel, we can watch a character develop over time, as a result of accumulated experience, but in a short story, there's no time. There's more or less one blazing moment, sometimes very brief. The art of the short story as opposed to the novel, then, is economy. Although there are notable exceptions, by and large the action in a short story takes place in a relatively brief period of time—and what happens in this brief period of time gives us a glimpse into the true nature of the person, the human being embroiled in that moment's flame.

Another way to approach understanding the art of the short story is to recognize that there are more than a few elements common to many short stories, and studying these elements can help us get started. You've already identified several of these story "elements" yourselves in class last week. You emphasized issues relating to character, plot, style, theme...obviously you're not novices. These are many of the same basic elements your textbook emphasizes. Let's look more closely at some of these key elements.

PLOT
Sometimes plots are suspenseful. Sometimes they aren't. Some readers prefer suspenseful plots. Some readers don't care, as long as there is some element of intensity that holds their interest. Some concepts to consider when you're analyzing or evaluating a story's plot are as follows:

  • Exposition: what information do you need to appreciate what will happen during the time frame of the story?
  • Foreshadowing: a technique the author uses to plant the seeds for action that will follow. Early hints to what will happen later.
  • Rising action: When the action/conflict/events intensify
  • Conflict: What are the forces opposed to one another in the story?
  • Crisis: Sometimes called the turning point-when the action reaches its peak or the biggest conflict arises
  • Dilemma: What's the problem at the heart of the action?
  • Crisis point: Sometimes called the climax-the pinnacle of the action.
  • Falling action (denouement): After the climax, the restoration or resolution of the conflict. The outcome.\
  • Epiphany: a moment of startling, sudden insight gained by the main character as a result of the unfolding of events in the story

As you can see, analyzing a story's plot involves more than feeling suspense. Suspense is one small part of the package. Essentially, plot means the artistic arrangement of events in a story; the causal sequence. In life, things happen chaotically. It isn't always possible to trace the causal sequence that binds events to one another. But like practicing Buddhists who believe in causation as an inherent truth—the law of karma—a traditional short story operates on the premise that everything that happens as a result of cause and effect. You may have learned the famous dictum in your high school lit class when you studied Oedipus—one theme of that artful, ancient play is that "character determines fate." Things happen for a reason. In life we can't always discern the reasons why certain things happen. But in an expertly crafted short story, it's possible to discover how we create our circumstances by being the kind of people we are. We create our own fate. Character determines fate. The traditional short story very much lives by that rule.

On the other hand, you may, even in your young years, have come to the conclusion that the universe is absurd, following no laws, or absurd laws. You may have observed bad things happening to good people, or good things happening to bad people, and you may have completely rejected the notion that character determines fate. In that case, you may find yourself bored with the traditional kind of story and your taste may take you out to the fringes. You may be more alternative, with a penchant for Franz Kafka or Samuel Beckett, or you may find yourself drawn to the kind of stories that don't sum up easily or offer easy answers to complex questions, stories that don't telegraph what you should think about them, stories that leave it to you to decide. "What happened?" is often a complex kind of question to answer after reading a story like that. ("Girl" by Jamaica Kinkaid comes to mind…)

CHARACTER
This is a pretty straightforward element, meaning, the people in the story. I agree with you that you want characters you can relate to, feel something for, get worked up about. Making that happen is the writer's biggest responsibility, because if you decide you don't care about the characters, you probably don't like the story. You may hate the characters, but that's not the same thing as not caring. When you get apathetic about or bored by a character, the writer may have failed in some important way, or there may be something you're missing.

There are a few ways you can think about the characters you meet in a short story. Here's some new terms to consider:

  • Protagonist—the leading character; the main character
  • Antagonist—the force acting against the main character
  • Flat character—a one-dimensional representation
  • Round character—a multi-dimensional representation
  • Dynamic character—one who changes or grows from beginning to end
  • Static character—one who never changes or grows from beginning to end

POINT OF VIEW
No one mentioned this element in the group comments or the individual responses! But every short story has a "storyteller," a narrator, or a voice that tells the story. This voice is NOT the voice of the author, but an element of the story. The narrator can be a crucial part of the story. The point of view is so named because it's the storyteller which determines the angle of vision, the vantage point from which readers see and hear what's going on. There are many familiar, and some unfamiliar points of view possible in a short story.

  • Omniscient narrator—an all-knowing consciousness in the mind of every character simultaneously
  • Limited omniscient narrator—in the mind of one character, usually the main character
  • First Person: reliable vs. unreliable narrators—a character in the story tells the story
  • Objective or "camera eye" narrator—an omnicient narrator with a neutral consciousness, like a camera filming events

Other elements like setting contribute to a story's "form" as well. Some of best stories are those in which form and content merge and reverberate so seamlessly that they seem to be inherently connected to one another.

LITERARY ELEMENTS NOT SPECIFIC TO FICTION

Fiction, because it is a literary art, shares certain artistic elements with poetry and drama:

  • THEME
  • IRONY
  • AMBIGUITY
  • PARADOX
  • SYMBOLISM
  • ALLUSION
  • VERISIMILITUDE
  • SIMILE/METAPHOR
  • PERSONIFICATION

We'll visit these terms more in depth in A Vocabulary for Fiction and Beyond.

 

 

 

     

 


Questions? Contact me.

All materials unless otherwise indicated are copyright © 2001-2002 by Stacy Tartar Esch.
FALL 2001 site is available at BRAINSTORM-SERVICES.COM
The original contents of this site may not be reproduced, republished, reused, or retransmitted
without the express written consent of Stacy Tartar Esch.
These contents are for educational purposes only.