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Plot

PLOTDefinition of PlotA Plot is a series of interconnected events that make up a story. A story consists of some events that are purposively linked by an unbroken cause-effect chain. If the events that are not linked one to another, they do not form a story. Thus, to form a story, Event A must cause Event B, Event B must cause Event C, Event C must cause Event D, and so on. If Event B occurs unrelatedly to Event A, and Event C could have occurred without Event B, These three events (A, B, and C) do not form a plot. They are just a collection of unrelated events. They do not construct a story.To get an example, let’s consider Boccaro’s A Long walk Home. In the story, the event of when Jackson is asked to take the car to a garage, drives his father to Mijas, puts the car to the garage, and watches some movies are interrelated. He will not drive his father to Mijas and watches the movies if he is not asked to take the car to a garage. He might even not decide to stop telling lies to his …

Summarizing a Short Story

Also known as a synopsis, precis, or abstract, a summary is a shortened version of a longer piece of reading (text) that highpoints its key contents. Clee and Clee (1999) state that the main objective of a summary is to "give an accurate, objective representation of what the work says." Thus, "you should not include your own ideas or interpretations." A summary is not a restatement of all ideas of the story. It does not tell every event occurring in it. A summary just relates the main events without extraneous detail. It condenses in your own words the short story main points.A summary is usually written in a solid paragraph of about up to 10 sentences. The first sentence includes the short story title, author and subject matter. The next sentences include the main supporting events or actions. These supporting events begin with the introduction scene (exposition) written in 1 to 2 sentences. The exposition is followed by one or two main rising actions written in 2…

Subject Matter and Theme in Short Stories

In this article, it is explained that every short story is unique in the sense that the elements contained by every work vary from one to another. However, since a short story is a narrative fiction that involves a limited number of characters engaged in a single event taking place in a limited setting, all short stories share similar types of elements. To get a comprehensive understanding of a short story, we need to analyze its elements, including subject matter, theme, characters, actions, setting, and the language employed as the medium. This article focuses on subject matter and theme.Before discussing the concepts related to subject matter and theme, read the following flash fiction. It will be used as a reference to clarify the concepts.The Boulder on the RoadIn ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. He then hid himself and watched to see if anyone would move the boulder out of the way. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply w…

The Nature of Short Stories as a Fiction

The previous article discusses that a short story is a type of fiction. Therefore it shares the features of fictional works with novelette and novel. A short story is different from a novelette and novel in terms of length. Short stories are commonly 500 to 7,500 words. A novelette is between 7,500 to 17,000 words and novels are more than 17,000 words. But what makes short stories fiction? This article discusses the six special features of fiction suggested by Alternbend and Lewis (1966) and shows how they are contained in short stories. The six features of fiction include: fiction is dramatic, concrete and specific, generally representative, instructs and entertains, is related to life, and creative and imaginative. To illustrate how these features pertain to short stories, three flash (very brief) stories are used as samples.
Short stories are dramatic.Read the following very short story.The Blind GirlThere was a blind girl who hated herself purely for the fact she was blind. The onl…

What is a short story?

This article aims to introduce the nature of the short story by taking and discussing some of the related ideas available in the literature. To make the discussion clearer, these conceptions are applied to Bocaro’s A Long Walk Home (1977), a short story about the major character’s recall of a lesson he learned when he was a teenager. Since the short story is employed as an example of some concepts, it is suggested to read it before continuing to read this article.Short story is a type of fiction. Fiction is a kind of prose, and prose is one of the main genres of literature (See Figure 1). Therefore, to define short story we need first understand what literature, prose, and fiction mean. Literature is hard to define in a single definition because the body of literature is very wide as it has many forms. Its definitions also tend to change over time because literature never stops developing. Derived from the Latin word Latin litaritura/litteratura which means “writing formed with letter…

Reader Response

Reader-response is a kind of essay used to express a thoughtful reaction to what (poem, short story, novel essay, or other forms of text) someone has read. As a reaction to a text, in which a reader examines, explains, and defends his personal reaction to a text, reader response is also called a “reaction paper”. A reader-response is therefore more than just a summary. It explores why a reader likes or dislikes the reading, explains whether she/he agrees or disagrees with the author, identifies the reading's purpose, and criticizes the text.Reader-response is based on the theory which emphasizes the reader's significant role in the reading process and in the creation of meaning. Reader-response diverts the emphasis away from the text as the sole determiner of meaning to the significance of the reader in analyzing and studying the meaning or the interpretation of texts (Bressler, 1999). While reading, a reader creates her or his own meaning through a “transaction” with the text…