MemberJune 30, 2020 at 5:47 pm
This is a bit off topic, but in my quest to create the perfect story, I did a bit of research about proper short story structure.
I’ve previously read about novel structure and always wondered how that fit into short stories. A short story isn’t long enough to fit all those plot points.
I did notice that most short stories end with the character still in the middle of their inner journey. (i.e. taking the first step to the truth.) I was wondering if that’s the proper way to do it.
Anyways, turns out, short story structure seems to be far more flexible than novels.
I found an article online that explains that short story structure can be fit into overall story structure, but not every step needs to be shown. Some parts can be implied.
“It is important that the steps “take place” in the context of the story—that’s what makes it a story. But it isn’t necessary to show each step. It is enough simply to mention them. In fact, it can be enough simply to imply them.
Once I understood that, it became possible to match the structure of short stories to the models for story structure.
For example, lots of stories can be thought of as the first few steps on the Hero’s Journey: a challenge, a rejection of the challenge, and then an acceptance of the challenge. The acceptance of the challenge is the climax of the story. The “validation” segment of the story should imply the rest of the Hero’s Journey. The reader should end the story knowing that there will be a road of trials, that evil will be confronted, and so on.
Lots of other stories can be thought of as just the dark night of the soul and the leap of faith. The early steps along the hero’s journey can be filled in with flashbacks or simply implied by the circumstances of the characters as the story begins. However it happens, the reader needs to learn that the hero accepted the challenge, confronted evil, and was defeated. The story ends with the reader knowing that the hero will face evil again and this time be victorious.
I’m not quite sure why this was such a revelation to me. But, once I learned to see things this way, it suddenly became much easier to plot my own stories. It also became easier to explain plotting issues when critiquing other people’s stories.”
Read the full article here
Anyways, just thought this was an interesting point to share…