The Short Story
A short story is short, fictional, narrative prose. Short stories tend to
be more concise and to the point than longer works of fiction. Because of their
brevity, successful short stories rely on literary devices such as character,
plot, theme, language and insight to a greater extent than long form fiction.
The story can be of any type. Usually, a short story will focus on only one
incident, has a single plot, a single setting, a limited number of characters,
and covers a short period of time.
In longer forms of fiction, stories tend to contain certain core elements of dramatic structure: exposition (the introduction of setting, situation and main characters; complication (the event of the story that introduces the conflict); rising action, crisis (the decisive moment for the protagonist and their commitment to a course of action); climax (the point of highest interest in terms of the conflict and the point of the story with the most action); resolution (the point of the story when the conflict is resolved); and moral. Because of their short length, short stories may or may not follow this pattern. For example, modern short stories only occasionally have an exposition. More typical, though, is an abrupt beginning, with the story starting in the middle of the action. As with longer stories, plots of short stories also have a climax, crisis, or turning-point. However, the endings of many short stories are abrupt and open and may or may not have a moral or practical lesson.
The Short Story
A handy PowerPoint presentation on the medium.
The longest story in the world begins with a well-considered idea.
Character is key.
If you care, here is how I grade them.
Building a short story requires the right the tools. Here they are.
You can write a short story in any genre; here are a few examples.
Write or Die
When the going gets tough, the tough get crazy.
You know you want to..
Famous First Lines
Here's how the pros get the party started.
You owe it to your peers (and they owe it to you) to get really good at critiquing other peoples' writing.
Good critique doesn't mean you are a jerk; it means you care enough to try to make someone else's story better.
Quick like a bunny or slow as a snail, how fast you tell the story depends a lot on the message you are trying to convey.