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A piece of prose fiction to be read in one sitting on a self-contained incident
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Short Stories

A piece of prose fiction to be read in one sitting on a self-contained incident

A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a single effect or mood. The short story is one of the oldest types of literature and has existed in the forms

Examples of Short Stories from Literature

  • The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde.
  • The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
  • The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe.
  • The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin.
  • The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant.
  • To Build a Fire by Jack London.

What is an example of a short story? A short story is a fictional story which is more than 1,600 words and less than 20,000. One famous example of a short story is Anton Chekhov's "Gooseberries" written in 1898.

A short story is a work of prose fiction that can be read in one sitting—usually between 20 minutes to an hour. There is no maximum length, but the average short story is 1,000 to 7,500 words, with some outliers reaching 10,000 or 15,000 words.

While there are many different short story styles, here we will consider three popular short story types: lyrical, flash fiction, and vignette.

List of short fiction forms and their definitions.

  • Novella. A work of fiction between 20,000 and 49,999 words is considered a novella.
  • Novelette. A novelette falls in the range of 7,500 to 19,999 words. ...
  • Short story.
  • Flash fiction.
  • Short Fiction Challenge

The average short story should run anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 words, but they can be anything above 1,000 words. Flash fiction is a short story that is 500 words or less.

They need to be coherent, grammatically correct, and have proper spelling. And, no matter the length, they need to tell a story. That means they both need to have these elements: inciting incident, rising action (progressive complications), climax, and falling action.

The best story is a well-told tale about something the reader feels is relevant or significant. The best stories are more complete and more comprehensive. They contain more verified information from more sources with more viewpoints and expertise. They exhibit more enterprise, more reportorial effort.

What makes these authors such remarkable short story writers? They are true masters at combining the five key elements that go into every great short story: character, setting, conflict, plot and theme.