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English

Short story

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Introduction

A short story is a type of prose fiction. Fiction means that the story is made up, though of course you can base your story onsomething that has really happened. Prose simply means it is written in sentences and paragraphs, and it is not a poem or play script.

There are many different types of short story but they all have certain basic things in common.

A short story is not trying to be a cut-down novel. In a novel the author has time to develop characters and show us many events in their lives. A short story takes characters at an important point in their lives and gives us a kind of snapshot of a significant moment.

The best way to understand what is required in short story writing is to read short stories by different authors. Your teacher will be able to suggest suitable stories for you and you will have read some in class.

Some good anthologies which will give you examples of modern Scottish short stories are -

  • Shouting It Out (Hodder & Stoughton, edited by Tom Pow)
  • The Other Side of the Clyde (Hodder & Stoughton, edited by D. Drever & L. Stewart)
  • A Braw Brew (stories in Scots) (Watergaw, edited by Liz Niven & Pete Fortune)

There are no rules in short story writing but here are some guidelines which will help most people to improve their short story writing.

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Watch

Novelist Malorie Blackman.

Class Clips

Authors such as Keith Grey and Malorie Blackman give tips on making your writing interesting.

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