Best Literary Short Stories in 2022

Characterization in Literary Short Stories

Most criticism of short stories focuses on the writing techniques. The best technical works alert the reader to the various devices used by a skilled writer. Nevertheless, many of these works are treatises on "how to write a story" rather than serious critical material. Ultimately, the quality of a short story rests on the characters and setting, not the technical techniques. Nonetheless, they are important and often essential to a story's success.


In literary short stories, characterization plays a crucial role. It develops an author's sense of responsibility as the writer creates a story. Characters are everything in a literary story: animals, humans, and whatever else the writer chooses to portray. Characters actually make things happen in a story! This essay will examine how characterization in literary short stories is developed and what would happen without the characters. The following paragraphs will describe different types of characterization.

Generally speaking, characterization in literature refers to how a writer reveals the character. Characterization can take several forms, including direct or indirect descriptions of a character's physical attributes, behavior, and interests. It can also include the way a character speaks or acts, as well as their relationship with other characters. It is important to note that, prior to the 19th century, literary short stories had a different focus than the works of today.

In works of literature with bad characterization, characters may seem flat or cliched. In a short story, however, characterization can give readers a sense of empathy for the characters. For example, a busy housewife might appear as a stereotypical woman with no personal life, which makes the story seem like a stereotype. A more creative and well-developed character would be able to convey his or her inner thoughts and behavior.


A literary short story's setting is the place or time in which the story takes place. Some stories have only one location or time period, while others feature several. Pride and Prejudice, for example, takes place in England and includes different eras and individual homes. The time period and location of the story can be as specific as the year or the region of the world, or it can be less detailed. There are many ways to describe the setting of a short story.

A location can be a city or region in real life, as in The Scarlet Letter by Elie Wiesel. It can also be a fantasy setting, as in The Hunger Games or The Help by Toni Morrison. In addition to geographical setting, a literary story's time can be influenced by four types of time: chronological time, calendar time, historical time, and day-of-week. If the setting is important to the plot, it can affect the suspense and mood of the story.

Some writers choose to set their stories in recognizable environments, such as a farm, a forest, or a county fair. These choices reduce the need for detailed descriptions of the setting, and the reader can focus on the plot and the characters instead. In some cases, the setting may be important, but it is not necessary. The setting is a significant part of the plot, so it is crucial that it adds to the emotional resonance of the story.


When you read a literary short story, you'll find that the use of language is more varied than you might expect. It can be smooth, jagged, or mean. While we all use language every day, we never thought it could be as diverse as it is. In "The Most Dangerous Game," Rainsford says, "I'm still a beast at bay," and that sentence emphasizes the emotional state of Rainsford. It also foreshadows one final battle between the two.

Similarly, when teaching a foreign language to students, you might want to consider how you use language in literary short stories. Different types of short stories can be used for different language activities, including developing vocabulary and developing interpretative strategies. Here are some tips that will help you find a great literary short story for your students. You may even be surprised at how effective language can be. We hope this article has inspired you to explore more ways to use language in your classroom.

Unlike a textbook, short stories contain a wide range of language. Students need to see the words used in a variety of settings to learn and retain them. Reading a short story will show you how language can be used in different situations and how that can enhance your ability to write effectively. And because it is relatively short, it is a good choice for commuters who want a quick and satisfying read on their commute.


Literature follows a specific structure that is similar to that of film. Its three major acts are titled Beginning, Middle, and End. Throughout the story, you'll notice that the characters are faced with several challenges and obstacles. In some cases, dramatic irony plays a role in the story, but most short stories follow a standard structure. The main character, who is often the protagonist, has a goal and must overcome them in order to achieve it.

Various writers employ structures that defy organized labeling. In "How to Become a Writer," Lorrie Moore uses short, anecdotal passages to establish tension. In Tobias Wolff's "Bullet in the Brain," the first half of the story takes place in standard chronological time and the second half occurs in the protagonist's mind. Ultimately, each writer uses a different structure, but the outcome of each story is logical within the world created by the author.

The structure of a literary short story depends on the intent of the author. While novels have more flexibility to add more words, short stories do not. A short story's structure must conform to the author's intent, which can be gleaned from examples. However, the structure of a short story may vary based on the length and genre. Listed below are some examples of the different types of short stories. And if you have any questions or concerns about the structure of a story, don't hesitate to contact the author.


Literary short stories were primarily based on the tale until the 16th century. A growing middle class interest in social realism encouraged writers to create sketches of exotic locales. In the nineteenth century, authors combined elements of the tale and the sketch into one form. A short story may contain one or several elements from both forms. The following are some examples of literary short stories. To read and appreciate them, you should familiarize yourself with the three types of short stories.

The Epical: The most famous form of the short story is the one with a definite ending, but it still has a certain degree of openness. The Lyrical: This genre relies on the opening and close of a central symbol or image that is openly explored in the story. It is an important literary form for emerging novelists. It is important to understand the different types of stories to understand their importance and how to craft them.

The Novel: While novels often allow for greater abstraction, introspection, and description, a short story puts more emphasis on character development. A true protagonist is rarely sought after in a short story. Instead, try to write about someone who has a burning desire for change, and you'll be rewarded with the attention of editors. The Form of Literary Short Stories


One way to enhance the emotional impact of your story is to introduce conflict. Conflict is a dynamic aspect of the literary process. It can be momentary or recurring. A literary short story with internal conflict could be about a character's reaction to a situation. Another story with internal conflict could be about the protagonist and antagonist trying to overcome their differences. Using conflict can also help you create comic relief. Here are some examples of effective literary short story conflicts.

One of the most common types of conflict in a literary short story is the one involving two main characters. In "Blood & Honey" by Joyce Carol Oates, the main character is conflicted between wanting to protect his family and pursuing a man. But a girl cannot have it all. This type of conflict creates interesting action and a deeper meaning for the story. In literary short stories, conflict can also take the form of internal and external forces.

When writing a short story, you should use conflict as an opportunity to introduce different themes and ideas. For example, if you are writing a story about a woman with a tragic past, you might create a conflict with her boyfriend. It could also be about a girl who has just lost her father and is trying to make amends with his girlfriend. In literary short stories, the main character must overcome this internal conflict before the story can continue.

Becky Watson

Commissioning Editor in Walker’s “6+” team. I work on books across the different children’s genres, including non-fiction, fiction, picture books, gift books and novelty titles. Happy to answer questions about children's publishing – as best I can – for those hoping to enter the industry!

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