Short Stories

Some questions about short stories:Short Story

  •  Is a short story always about a change in a character?  If so is Cinderella a short story? Does she change?
  • How long is a short story?
  • Is a short story one or many? Does it have one theme, one setting, focus on one character? In general, does the word ONE describe a short story?
  • Is it easy to get a short story published? On the Internet?
  • Can you make a living writing short stories?


  • Compelling open            _________
  • Characterization            _________
  • Interesting plot               _________
  • Dialogue natural             _________
  • Pace good                          _________
  • POV consistent               _________
  • Protagonist take action _________
  • Setting effective              _________
  • Theme developed            _________

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13 responses to “Short Stories

  1. Golly, Ed, what riches you display! Any one of those points was worth a blog. Re making a living out of short stries – FORGET IT. I have won 3 major story comps in Australia (worth > $3K) and been published in 2 huge Oz mags (worth >$3K), but I calculate that over a 20-year period, I have made around A$10.00 a week from short stories.
    Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but still …
    Best to you,

    • I never thought about it before, but your query about Cinderella’s a good one! I suspect that fairy tales don’t follow the hero’s journey model, which, after all didn’t gain prominence until after Jung’s work was well established. In fairy tales, the good girl remains the good girl, the wicked witch remains the wicked witch, etc. Fairy tales deal in archtypes and archtyes don’t change.

      • The debate among some writers is whether Cinderella changes. Is the story about a passive female to whom things happen. As one woman friend of mine said, “She’s a wimp before the prince and a wimp after.
        The point that Joseph Campbell (thru Christopher Vogler) is that the hero in a story is the person who changes the most. Certainly Cinderella’s condition changes, but does she change?
        The rule has helped me a lot –The hero is the person who changes the most.

  2. I read somewhere that your protagonist doesn’t have to change all the time but can simply be revealed for some truth about them. An interesting idea that will probably annoy most academics. Can the change be implied from the events of the story (as in Cinderella over-coming her evil stepmother; a life changing event for sure)? I think at the end of the day someone’s view on the story is simply what they want to get or not get out of it. All this boils down to the question: As a writer, have you written a compelling story for your reader? Whose changes or been revealed doesn’t matter. Was your reader entertained?

  3. Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

  4. Pingback: Stories I’m Writing #44: Tales from the House | The Write Stuff·

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