Traits of A Short Story:

• Emotional, drastic, so short and the writer wants to say so much
• Poetic in its own way—like a greek tragedy, but shorter
• Ironic ending and a moral; so anti-climactic, you had to think about it more—subtle endings with deep meaning; the insignificant action can hold great significance
• Individual words descriptive by themselves to get across what is going on in a short amount of time
• Every detail is there for a reason
• Powerful ending
• Characters can reflect the background of the author—the time period
• Character fighting a force, and frequently a foil character
• Not a lot of background information about the character itself—details—reader can make presumptions, based on what they do and say; names—their name may be symbolic
• Rather than being overt—symbolism saves text and much has to be inferred by the reader
• Not enough time to have a lot physical going on so a lot of change is psychological or emotional
• Point of view—can reflect the culture/time period in the time of the author;
• 1st person or omniscient (usually); after that second person, limited perspective
• Setting—time period; limited place and time

· Description of the setting is brief
· Not many characters
· Characterization: weren’t described very well, how they are at that moment, not a lot of development; some characters become dynamic/changed (usually only 1-2 in depth and others are brief and not elaborated on, fillers)
· Characters developed with emotions more than physical descriptions; characterized by physical appearance sometimes
· Easy theme to spot; few themes (usually 1-2)
· Brief plot, focused—not as well developed
· Jump into the story/action—not much exposition
· Still includes symbolism and other literary elements
· Could have a lesson
· Usually fictional
· Sinful in some way: adultery, murder
· 1-2 main settings integral to the plot
· Setting reflects life or time period of author
· Settings usually well-known so the author doesn’t necessarily have to elaborate
· Not a lot of dialogue; the space it takes to give information in dialogue is more than in “regular” sentence
· Thought dialogue instead of conversational