How to structure a Short Story

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Each short story at dosenpendidikan.co.id has an identity of its own, a purpose of its own and a structure based on its motive and the plot. Just as different human minds think differently, feel differently and each one has his or her own way of dealing with things, in the same way each story has a format and progression of its own. However, the basis of every story revolves around the analogy for the human mind’s problem-solving process and there are some basic rules which all the short story writers are advised to follow.

 

When writers get an insight of dealing with stories as an analogy to the human mind? Well, for starters, they get a clear idea about the existence of Character, Plot, Theme, and Genre of stories. Each of these forms the framework of the story and each has its own importance. Characters act as a means of expressing the motivations within the human mind. Plot came about as a natural representation of the methodologies that the human mind explores in solving problems. The theme of a story acts as the measuring stick with which to judge the characters and the actions they take. The theme fulfills the need to express the evaluations the human mind undergoes. Genre, which can range from Romance, comedy, war, action, thriller and so on acts as a way of expressing the purpose behind a mind’s attempt to solve a problem. Put together, each part combines to create a meaningful model of the human mind at work and then forms a complete story.

 

However, with a short fantasy story it is difficult to define and clearly classify each part and it is entirely the discretion of the author whether he or she focuses more on a central character or on the plot of the story. The focus of the story may be on building up the main character which develops and becomes stronger as the story progresses or it could be the tight plot which becomes starts and ends meaningfully or naturally develops through four Acts. In other cases, the author could choose to blend in Character, Plot, Theme and Genre skillfully laying equal stress to each part and creating something which provides a glimpse of something greater just beyond.

 

For example, let us consider John August’s appraised work ‘The Variant’ in which he skillfully combines all the four aspects of the story in just a short span of 23 pages and yet manages to deliver a compact and entertaining piece of craftsmanship. No wonder, the review from Amazon reads, “5 pages of on your edge can’t wait to read next line thriller. At the end you’re left with the feeling of more, I want more. Give me more John. You want the whole story, what happens next. Never any slow moving pieces to the story it all flows together seamlessly, a straight read through, you never want to put it down and come back to it, just keep going from page 1 to 25.”

 

To conclude, the secret of the success behind successful short stories lies in their skill to relate with the audience and to bind them with expert craftsmanship and your explanatory text. The story should be built up as in such a way that each move fits one piece of a jigsaw puzzle leaving the readers with a desire for more and the yearning to complete the puzzle. Audiences crave meaning. And a successful author can only be the one who adhere to the human mind’s problem-solving process through Character, Plot, Theme and Genre.

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