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PURPOSE: Why Short Stories? There are principally THREE reasons for reading/writing short stories: 1.To entertain The first purpose of a short story is.

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Presentation on theme: "PURPOSE: Why Short Stories? There are principally THREE reasons for reading/writing short stories: 1.To entertain The first purpose of a short story is."— Presentation transcript:

PURPOSE: Why Short Stories.

Identifying the Elements of Plot

a short story purpose

Identifying the Elements of A Plot Diagram

a short story purpose

Elements of a Short Story Mrs. Smith – English 9A.

a short story purpose

Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. It shows the a causal arrangement of events and actions within a story. Plot Structure.

a short story purpose


a short story purpose


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Literary Elements Plot Structure.

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PLOT If an author writes, "The king died and then the queen died," there is no plot for a story. But by writing, "The king died and then the queen died.

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a short story purpose

Plot Structure. What is plot? Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. It shows the a causal arrangement of events and actions.

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Home » Writing » What is a short story?

a short story purpose

What is the history of the short story?

Short-form storytelling can be traced back to ancient legends, mythology, folklore, and fables found in communities all over the world. Some of these stories existed in written form, but many were passed down through oral traditions. By the 14 th century, the most well-known stories included  One Thousand and One Nights (Middle Eastern folk tales by multiple authors, later known as  Arabian Nights ) and Canterbury Tales  (by Geoffrey Chaucer).

It wasn’t until the early 19th century that short story collections by individual authors appeared more regularly in print. First, it was the publication of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, then Edgar Allen Poe’s Gothic fiction, and eventually, stories by Anton Chekhov, who is often credited as a founder of the modern short story.

The popularity of short stories grew along with the surge of  print magazines  and journals. Newspaper and magazine editors began publishing stories as entertainment, creating a demand for short, plot-driven narratives with mass appeal. By the early 1900s,  The Atlantic Monthly , The New Yorker , and  Harper’s Magazine were paying good money for short stories that showed more literary techniques. That golden era of publishing gave rise to the short story as we know it today.

What are the different types of short stories?

Short stories come in all kinds of categories: action, adventure, biography, comedy, crime, detective, drama, dystopia, fable, fantasy, history, horror, mystery, philosophy, politics, romance, satire, science fiction, supernatural, thriller, tragedy, and Western. Here are some popular types of short stories, literary styles, and authors associated with them:  

  • Fable: A tale that provides a moral lesson, often using animals, mythical creatures, forces of nature, or inanimate objects to come to life (Brothers Grimm, Aesop)
  • Flash fiction : A story between 5 to 2,000 words that lacks traditional plot structure or character development and is often characterized by a surprise or twist of fate (Lydia Davis)
  • Mini saga: A type of micro-fiction using exactly 50 words (!) to tell a story
  • Vignette: A descriptive scene or defining moment that does not contain a complete plot or narrative but reveals an important detail about a character or idea (Sandra Cisneros)
  • Modernism:  Experimenting with narrative form, style, and chronology (inner monologues, stream of consciousness) to capture the experience of an individual (James Joyce, Virginia Woolf)
  • Postmodernism: Using fragmentation, paradox, or unreliable narrators to explore the relationship between the author, reader, and text (Donald Barthelme, Jorge Luis Borges)
  • Magical realism: Combining realistic narrative or setting with elements of surrealism, dreams, or fantasy (Gabriel García Márquez)
  • Minimalism: Writing characterized by brevity, straightforward language, and a lack of plot resolutions (Raymond Carver, Amy Hempel)

Short stories come in all kinds of genres

What are some famous short stories?

  • “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1843) – Edgar Allen Poe
  • “The Necklace” (1884) – Guy de Maupassant
  • “The Yellow Wallpaper” (1892) – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • “The Story of an Hour” (1894) – Kate Chopin
  • “Gift of the Magi” (1905) – O. Henry
  • “The Dead,” “The Dubliners” (1914) – James Joyce
  • “The Garden Party” (1920) – Katherine Mansfield
  • “Hills Like White Elephants” (1927), “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (1936) – Ernest Hemingway
  • “The Lottery” (1948) – Shirley Jackson
  • “Lamb to the Slaughter” (1953) – Roald Dahl
  • “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” (1955) – Gabriel García Márquez
  • “Sonny’s Blues” (1957) – James Baldwin
  • “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” (1953), “Everything That Rises Must Converge” (1961) – Flannery O’Connor

What are some popular short story collections?

  • The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
  • Labyrinths – Jorge Luis Borges
  • Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman – Haruki Murakami
  • Nine Stories – J.D. Salinger
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Love – Raymond Carver
  • The Stories of John Cheever – John Cheever
  • Welcome to the Monkey House – Kurt Vonnegut
  • Complete Stories – Dorothy Parker
  • Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Suddenly a Knock at the Door – Etgar Keret

Do you have a short story collection or another book project in the works? Download our free layout software , BookWright, today and start envisioning the pages of your next book!

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a short story purpose

Mrs. Peters-Bryant

Proud to be an educator


Ms. Peters Summer ELA 6th,7th, & 8th

" the greatness of man is not how much wealth he aquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.",                    bob marley, take a bite of knowledge, elements of a short story,  a short story is a work of short, narrative prose that is usually centered around one single event. it is limited in scope and has an introduction, body and conclusion. although a short story has much in common with a novel, it is written with much greater precision..

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Demonstrate Understanding

Elements of a plot , in a narrative or creative writing, a plot is the sequence of events that make up a story, whether it's told, written, filmed, or sung. plots are typically made up of five main elements: exposition: at the beginning of the story, characters, setting, and the main conflict are typically introduced..

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Authors Purpose

An author's purpose is his reason for or intent in writing. An author's purpose may be to amuse the reader, to persuade the reader, to inform the reader, or to satirize a condition.

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University of Iowa

University Libraries - Exhibitions

The short story: a singular effort.

June – August 1992

The short story is a brief work of narrative prose. Superficially as casual as a snapshot, the short story is actually a highly self-conscious form, deliberate and calculated in aim. From earliest times there have been examples of episodic literature – jests, anecdotes, fables, romances and fairy tales – to name some of the most popular. In its time the short story has served as allegory, fable and moral example as well as pure entertainment. While the literary form that we know as the modem short story was late in coming on the scene, many of the techniques that have become familiar came from those early storytellers.

One way of looking at the emergence of the short story as a separate literary genre is to note the 19th century prevalence of the terms “tale and “sketch” when naming or discussing short narratives. The tale has its roots in the oral tradition while the sketch is a written mode. The early short story writers, such as Hawthorne, Poe, and Gogol, made use of both traditions to create a form that encompasses both the imaginative qualities of the tale and the factual roots of the sketch. In fact, the immense potential of the short story has made it one of the most valuable sources of material for the composer, playwright and filmmaker.

The modern short story emerged during the 19th century. Almost from the start short stories received serious criticism from such figures as Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe. In his review of Hawthorne’s Twice-Told Tales, Poe writes what has come to be regarded as a major definition of the genre. In that definition, he applied to the short story the intention to produce the same “unity of effect or impression” that is central to the writing of poetry. Because Poe concentrated on craftsmanship and effect and his pronouncements left untouched the subject matter and techniques used to fulfill them, the short story was left open to experimentation and growth.

In the first half of the 20th century the appeal of the short story continued to grow. The explosion of new periodical titles created a growing market for the form. This was particularly true in the United States where the short story proved to be more generally popular than the serialized novels preferred abroad. This distinction remained true until after the first world war when many of these new periodicals were started up. The ‘little magazines” that specialized in the short story began to appear at this time. Even though many of these magazines had a short life span they provided many writers with the opportunity to support themselves with their writing. The disappearance of this abundant market in the latter part of the 20th century has had its own effect on the short story.

Nearly every major writer (poet, dramatist and novelist) published at least a few short stories. William Faulkner once suggested that many writers started with the most difficult form of writing, poetry, and failed; moved on to the next most difficult form, the short story, and failed; finally they settled on the novel.

This exhibition has been arranged in three sections. The first section contains selected examples of our oral and written heritage from which the modem short story has grown. There is a sampling of 19th and 20th century short story writers. In addition, we have collected examples of the many publications in which short stories have been published. Many short stories have provided the catalyst for projects by artists from different media and we have selected a few of the most familiar. Finally, we are pleased to be able to display the works of many of those authors who are taking part in the International Conference on the Short Story in English being held here at the University of Iowa.

This exhibition was prepared by Helen Ryan, Margaret Richardson, and Sandy Ballasch.


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