Short stories date back to oral story-telling traditions which originally produced epics such as Homers Iliad and Odyssey. Oral narratives were often told in the form of rhyming or rhythmic verse, often including recurring sections or, in the case of Homer, Homeric epithets. Such stylistic devices often acted as mnemonics for easier recall, rendition and adaptation of the story. Short sections of verse might focus on individual narratives that could be told at one sitting. The overall arc of the tale would emerge only through the telling of multiple such sections.
There are early examples of short stories published separately between 1790 and 1810, but the first true collections of short stories appeared between 1810 and 1830 in several countries around the same period. The first short stories in the United Kingdom were gothic tales like Richard Cumberlands "remarkable narrative" "The Poisoner of Montremos" (1791). Great novelists like Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens also wrote some short stories. One of the earliest short stories in the United States was Charles Brockden Browns "Somnambulism" from 1805. Washington Irving wrote mysterious tales including "Rip van Winkle" (1819) and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1820). Nathaniel Hawthorne published the first part of his Twice-Told Tales in 1837. Edgar Allan Poe wrote his tales of mystery and imagination between 1842 and 1859. Classic stories are "The Fall of the House of Usher", "The Tell-Tale Heart", "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Pit and the Pendulum", and the first detective story, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue". In "The Philosophy of Composition" (1846) Poe argued that a literary work should be short enough for a reader to finish in one sitting.
In the latter 19th century, the growth of print magazines and journals created a strong demand for short fiction of between 3,000 and 15,000 words. In the United Kingdom Thomas Hardy wrote dozens of short stories, including "The Three Strangers" (1883), "A Mere Interlude" (1885) and "Barbara of the House of Grebe" (1890). Rudyard Kipling published short story collections for grown-ups, e.g. Plain Tales from the Hills(1888), as well as for children, e.g. The Jungle Book (1894). In 1892 Arthur Conan Doyle brought the detective story to a new height with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. H. G. Wells wrote his first science fiction stories in the 1880s. One of his best known "The Country of the Blind" (1904).
In the United Kingdom periodicals like The Strand Magazine, The Sketch, Harpers Magazine and Story-Teller contributed to the popularity of the short story. Hector Hugh Munro (1870–1916), also known by his pen name of Saki, wrote satirical short stories about Edwardian England.W. Somerset Maugham, who wrote over a hundred short stories, was one of the most popular authors of his time. P. G. Wodehouse published his first collection of comical stories about butler Jeeves in 1917. Lots of detective stories were written by G. K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie en Dorothy L. Sayers. Short stories by Virginia Woolf are Kew Gardens (1919) and Solid Objects, about a politician with mental problems. Graham Greene wrote his Twenty- One Stories between 1929 and 1954. A specialist of the short story was V. S. Pritchett, whose first collection appeared in 1932. Arthur C. Clarke published his first science fiction story, Travel by Wire! in 1937. In Ireland James Joyce published his short story collection Dubliners in 1914. These stories, written in a more accessible style than his later novels, are based on careful observation of the inhabitants of his birth city.
The period following World War II saw a great flowering of literary short fiction in the United States. The New Yorker continued to publish the works of the form’s leading mid-century practitioners, including Shirley Jackson, whose story, The Lottery, published in 1948, elicited the strongest response in the magazine’s history to that time. Other frequent contributors during the last 1940s included John Cheever, John Steinbeck, Jean Stafford, and Eudora Welty. J. D. Salingers Nine Stories (1953) experimented with point of view and voice, while Flannery O’Connors story A Good Man is Hard to Find (1955) reinvigorated the Southern Gothic style. Cultural and social identity played a considerable role in much of the short fiction of the 1960s. Philip Roth and Grace Paley cultivated distinctive Jewish-American voices.
Tillie Olsen’s I Stand Here Ironing (1961) adopted a consciously feminist perspective. James Baldwin’s collection Going to Meet the Man (1965) told stories of African-American life. Frank O’Connor’s The Lonely Voice, an exploration of the short story, appeared in 1963. Wallace Stegners short stories are primarily set in the American West. Stephen King published a lot of short stories in mens magazines in the 1960s and after. The 1970s saw the rise of the post-modern short story in the works of Donald Barthelme and John Barth. Traditionalists including John Updike and Joyce Carol Oates maintained significant influence on the form. Minimalism gained widespread influence in the 1980s, most notably in the work of Raymond Carver and Ann Beattie.
Plot is what happens and howit happens in a narrative. Anarrative is any work that tellsa story, such as a short story, anovel, a drama, or a narrativepoem.
Exposition – event that gives rise to conflict (opening situation) Rising Action- events that complicate or intensify the central conflict (rising action) Climax- highest point of interest or emotional involvement in the story Falling Action- logical result of Climax Resolution- Final outcome of the story
Climax (often called the “Turning Point)Exposition Resolution Conflict
Suspense- excitement or tension Foreshadowing- hint or clue about what will happen in story Flashback- interrupts the normal sequence of events to tell about something that happened in the past Surprise Ending- conclusion that reader does not expect (use of irony)
Conflict is a struggle between opposing forces Every plot must contain some kind of conflict Stories can have more than one conflict Conflicts can be external or internal External conflict- outside force may be person, group, animal, nature, or a nonhuman obstacle Internal conflict- takes place in a character’s mind
CONFLICT BASES Man vs. Man Physical Man vs. Himself Psychological Man vs. God Spiritual Man vs. Universe Intellectual Man vs. Society Moral/SocialMan vs. Environment Intellectual Man vs. Nature Intellectual
Types of Characters Meaning Protagonist The Main Character Antagonist The Character or force in conflict with the Protagonist Major A character who plays a large role in the out come of the story Minor A character who plays a small role in the out come of the story
Ways DescriptionDynamic Grows and changes in some significant manner by the end of the story Static Changes a little or none through out the storyRound Character shows many different traits, like faults and virtues. Flat We only know the character as one type of person – we only meet one side.
Round Fully Relatives Friends Developed Main Minor Not FullyProtagonist Character Flat Developed Flat Others Co-Main Antagonist Enemy
A writer reveals what a character is like and how the character changes throughout the story. Two primary methods of characterization: Direct- writer tells what the character is like Indirect- writer shows what a character is like by describing what the character looks like, by telling what the character says and does, and by what other characters say about and do in response to the character.
…And I don’t play the dozens or believein standing around with somebody in my facedoing a lot of talking. I much rather justknock you down and take my chances even ifI’m a little girl with skinny arms and asqueaky voice, which is how I got the nameSqueaky. From “Raymond’s Run” by T. Bambara
The old man bowed to all of usin the room. Then he removed hishat and gloves, slowly and carefully.Chaplin once did that in a picture, ina bank--he was the janitor. From “Gentleman of Rio en Medio” by J. Sedillo
A writer reveals what a character is like and how the character changes throughout the story. Two primary types of character: Flat- reveals only one or two traits. Round- reveals varied and sometimes contradictory traits.
Physical appearance of character Personality Background/personal history Motivation Relationships Conflict Does character change?
Time and place are where the action occursDetails that describe: Furniture Scenery Customs Transportation Clothing Dialects Weather Time of day Time of year
Location Life Era Place TimePhysical Setting History Atmosphere Day Mood Feelings Word Choice Use as activator to activate prior know ledge. Write Weather the w eb on the board or overhead and students cre ate one at their seats. Then as class share and fill in.
To create a mood or atmosphere To show a reader a different way of life To make action seem more real To be the source of conflict or struggle To symbolize an idea
A central message, concern, or insight into life expressed through a literary workCan be expressed by one or two sentence statement about human beings or about lifeMay be stated directly or impliedInterpretation uncovers the theme
“Every man needs to feel allegiance tohis native country, whether he alwaysappreciates that country or not.” From “A Man Without a Country” by Edward Hale pg. 185 in Prentice Hall Literature book
In the objective point of view, the writer tells what happens without stating more than can be inferred from the storys action and dialogue. The narrator never tells the readeranything about what the characters thinksor feels, and remains a detached observer of the story.
A.) Third Person Point – of – View a. Omniscient b. Objective c. Central Intelligence
The word omniscient is derived from Latin and consists of twoparts: Omni-which simply means “all” or “everywhere”and scire which means “to know”. This word is often used to referto God’s ability to know everything, even that which is hiddenfrom humans.If you use this point of view of a short story, you take thatelevated position of knowing everything. Therefore, when you tellthe story, you even grant the reader access to the characters’thoughts and other things that the characters cannot discern. Youare not limited by your characters’ inabilities or lack ofdiscernment.
To be objective means to be unbiasedand unaffected by personal thoughts oropinions. Thus, in this point of view ofa short story, the writer presents facts andevents as they happen and does notconcentrate on a character’s thoughts oropinions.
The story is told from the view of onecharacter i.e. the main character. Wesee the setting through his eyes. We seeand note the characters in the mannerthat he sees them. We feel his fears andanxieties. Indeed, we have full accessto his thoughts, emotions andimaginations.
B.) First Person Point – of – View a. Interior Monologue b. Dramatic Dialogue
You as the author,concentrates on thecharacter’s thoughts… As thename suggest, the characterspeaks all to herself. Thestory occurs all in her mind.
In this point of view of a short story,the character speaks to others. Thisis the most common type of firstperson point-of-view of a short story.It usually results in a simple style.
Not very commonthis, but it does suremake you feel part ofthe action!