April 13, 2024

Highandright

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What is Short Story? Learn About the Short Story Genre

2 min read

Short story is a fictional work which depicts one character’s inner conflict or conflict with others. It usually has one thematic focus.

The short story, as the name suggests is basically “short” which runs in length from a sentence to four pages, or to novellas that can be 100 pages long. And therefore, it shows the characteristics of both the short story and the novel. Since some works overlap the definitional lines of the three forms of fiction namely short stories, novella, and novel, it is better to consider the term as approximate rather than absolute.

Short stories usually produce in the reader an emotional and intellectual response. Novels, on the contrary, generally represent conflicts among many characters developed through various episodes, which stimulate a complexity of responses in the reader.

Short Tales vs. Modern Short Story:

It is interesting to learn and differentiate short tales and the modern short stories. Short tales go back to the genesis of human speech, and some were written by the Egyptians as long ago as around 2000 B.C. They basically dramatize a simple theme and subject and give emphasis to narrative over characterization. The modern short stories, on the other hand, emphasize language, characterization, mood, and style over the narrative itself.

Distinction Between Commercial and Literary Fiction:

Commercial and literary fiction also needs to be differentiated within the short story genre. Commercial short fiction, From O. Henry to Stephen King, has traditionally employed predictable plot formulas, depicted stock characters, conflicts, and superficial themes. Literary short fiction on the other hand employs complex techniques in order to show the irresolvable dilemmas of the human predicament.

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