Short Story Format and Content Question

Forums Fiction Plotting Short Story Format and Content Question


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    Two questions:

    Is there a key difference in content differentiating short stories from novel-length stories? Is it okay to write a short story in the same format as a novel? (characteristic moment, inciting event, push point etc.)

    From the short stories I’ve seen on Kingdom Pen and Story Embers, it seems like they are very brief and contain only a few short scenes. Their resolve is not usually very “final.” Like a snippet of a bigger story.

    I want to get this right for the contest! 🙂

    @josiah @gabrielle-pollack @brandon-miller

    Spreading God's love until I can see seven billion smiles. 🙂 https://sevenbillionsmiles.home.blog


    @emma-starr  Really short story’s, like the ones you’re talking about, I believe is more simplistic than actual novels.  Novels are longer and therefore have more time to develop characters, problems, and the likes.  I think short stories have to have less developed everything, just because there isn’t enough time in a short story to add in all those points you listed.  Anyway, I think if you’re going to write a short story (like the length of most KP&SE stories) then I don’t think you can add in all the variables of storytelling into it, unfortunately.  Unless you’re doing one longer than that, then maybe you could..


    Um… Also, you said two questions but that was only one, I believe.


    @Anonymous Okay. Oh, and also I was wondering if it was okay to have chapters. (To separate scenes)

    Spreading God's love until I can see seven billion smiles. 🙂 https://sevenbillionsmiles.home.blog

    Josiah DeGraaf

    @emma-starr I don’t use the nine plot points when writing a short story. I do make sure I have a clear midpoint and a clear climax (and normally use a basic 3 act structure), but a short story simply doesn’t have enough time to hit each plot point in a traditional way.

    In my mind, a good short story is all about delivering a emotional punch in the climax and funneling the whole story toward that pivotal moment. I’d think less about novel structure and more about how to craft a great ending and a great story that leads to that ending.

    Lit fanatic. Eclectic reader. Theology nerd. Writing fantasy at https://josiahdegraaf.com


    @emma-starr I’m not very experienced with short stories but I think they still have the basics, exposition—-rising action—climax—falling action—denouement.  A novel has the same basic structure but because of its length can handle more. To use Josiah’s “The Heretic’s Sacrifice” as an example, (spoilers) the exposition is the first castle scene where we’re introduced to Emiel, the rising action is when he’s discussing and looking for the merchant, the climax is when he finds him and struggles to face the consequences of his actions for the merchant’s sake. (More spoilers) If I’m right, Josiah’s story is slightly different because he uses a negative character arc, or at least it seems. The falling action is Emiel realizing he wasn’t who or as brave as he thought he was, and the denouement is Emiel bearing the guilt of his decisions. If I analyzed it correctly. So it follows the same basic structure as a novel but can’t handle as many characters, trials, scenes, etc.

    No one reads these anyway


    @josiah @samuel Thanks so much! This really helps me. 🙂

    Spreading God's love until I can see seven billion smiles. 🙂 https://sevenbillionsmiles.home.blog

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