Why Is It Called A Short Story [Analyzed by Professionals!]


The short story is a unique literary form that has been around for centuries, captivating readers with its ability to tell a complete story in a limited number of words. It is a form of narrative fiction, typically between 1000 and 20,000 words in length. Short stories have been passed down through generations, often taking on different meanings and interpretations as they are adapted and re-told across cultures.

The short story has the power to convey complex ideas and emotions in a concise and engaging way, allowing readers to explore the world through the eyes of the narrator. Short stories are often used to explore themes of morality and justice, as well as to explore the human condition. They can be humorous, thought-provoking, or even disturbing. No matter the subject, the short story has the potential to leave a lasting impression on its readers.

In this article, we will explore the definition of a short story, its history, characteristics, and benefits of reading them. We will also discuss why the short story has remained so popular with readers for centuries.

Definition of a Short Story

A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose and is usually shorter in length than a novel. Short stories typically focus on a single plot and one or a few characters. They often have a moral or message at the end.

Short stories have been around for centuries, but it was not until the 19th century that they began to be published in magazines and books. The earliest known short story was written by the Greek author Aesop in the 6th century BC. Since then, short stories have become an important part of literature and have been used to explore a wide range of themes and ideas.

The defining characteristic of a short story is its length. Generally, a short story is between 1,500 and 7,500 words in length. This length allows the author to focus on one plot and a few characters, giving the reader a more intimate experience than a novel. Short stories are often divided into sections or chapters, but they are usually shorter than those in a novel.

Short stories also have a beginning, middle, and end. This structure allows the author to create a sense of closure and resolution in the story. The plot of a short story is usually focused on one event or a series of events that lead to a conclusion. The characters in a short story are usually few in number, allowing the author to focus on the development of each character.

Short stories can be written in a variety of genres, including horror, fantasy, romance, science fiction, and mystery. They can also be written in different styles, such as stream of consciousness, first-person narrative, and third-person limited.

Short stories are a great way to explore a wide range of ideas and themes in a short amount of time. They can be read quickly, allowing the reader to get to the heart of the story quickly. They can also be used to introduce readers to a new genre or author. Short stories can be a great way to escape into another world for a few minutes.

History of the Short Story

The short story has a long and rich history, dating back to the ancient times. In ancient Greece, the short story was an important part of oral storytelling, with stories being told as part of the rituals of the day. The stories were often humorous and often used to teach a moral lesson.

In the Middle Ages, short stories were a popular form of literature. They were often used to entertain, with stories being told by wandering minstrels and troubadours. They were often religious in nature and used to teach a moral lesson.

During the Renaissance period, short stories continued to be popular. They were often used to tell stories of adventure and romance, as well as to teach moral lessons. Many of the stories were written in the form of parables or fables, using animals and other characters to illustrate the moral of the story.

In the 18th century, the short story began to take on a more literary form. Writers such as Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Denis Diderot wrote stories that often had a moral lesson, but also focused more on character development and plot.

In the 19th century, the short story became a popular form of literature. Writers such as Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry James wrote stories that often focused on psychological themes and explored the human condition.

In the 20th century, the short story continued to be popular. Writers such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and William Faulkner wrote stories that often focused on the human condition and explored the effects of war, poverty, and other social issues.

Today, the short story continues to be a popular form of literature. Writers such as Jhumpa Lahiri, Junot Diaz, and Alice Munro write stories that often explore the human condition and the complex relationships between people. Short stories are also popular in film and television, with many movies and television shows being adapted from short stories.

Characteristics of a Short Story

A short story is a work of fiction that is typically shorter and more concise than a novel. It usually focuses on a single incident or series of connected events, and is often told from the point of view of one or more characters. Short stories are a popular form of literature that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Short stories typically have a beginning, middle, and end, but the structure can vary depending on the author’s preference. The length of a short story will usually range from 1,000 to 20,000 words, although some authors have written stories as short as 500 words. Short stories usually have a single protagonist, or main character, and a limited number of characters, settings, and plot points.

The main purpose of a short story is to convey a message or moral lesson. Good short stories often contain elements of surprise, suspense, and irony to engage the reader and keep them interested. Short stories can also be used to explore themes such as love, loss, friendship, and identity.

Short stories are often written in the third person point of view, which allows the author to give a more objective view of the story. This allows the author to focus on the characters and their motivations, rather than on the narrator’s own opinions and feelings.

Some of the most common literary devices used in short stories include symbolism, foreshadowing, and imagery. These devices can be used to create a sense of suspense and to hint at the story’s outcome.

Short stories can be an enjoyable and satisfying way to spend an afternoon. They can provide an escape from reality and can be a great way to explore different points of view and experiences. Reading short stories can also help to improve reading comprehension and writing skills.

Benefits of Reading Short Stories

Reading short stories is a great way to pass the time, learn something new, and gain insight into the human experience. Not only can short stories be enjoyable, but they can also provide a range of benefits. From improving reading skills to sparking creativity, here are some of the top benefits of reading short stories.

First, reading short stories can help improve reading skills. Short stories are typically shorter than novels and can be read in one sitting. This makes them ideal for those who are trying to improve their reading speed or comprehension. By reading short stories, readers can practice their reading skills without feeling overwhelmed.

Second, reading short stories can help spark creativity. Short stories often contain unique and creative plotlines that can inspire readers to come up with their own creative ideas. Plus, readers can learn how to create interesting characters and settings, as well as how to craft a compelling narrative.

Third, reading short stories can help improve writing skills. Short stories are a great way to practice writing and editing. By reading short stories, readers can learn how to effectively structure their own stories and how to craft engaging dialogue.

Fourth, reading short stories can help build empathy. Short stories often contain characters with complex emotions and motivations. By reading these stories, readers can gain a better understanding of how people think and feel, which can help them be more compassionate and understanding.

Lastly, reading short stories can help reduce stress. Short stories are often light-hearted and can provide a brief escape from the stresses of everyday life. Plus, reading can help relax the mind and body, which can lead to improved mental health.

Overall, reading short stories can provide a range of benefits. From improving reading and writing skills to sparking creativity and reducing stress, short stories can be an enjoyable and rewarding way to pass the time. So, why not pick up a short story today and enjoy the benefits it can bring?


In conclusion, the short story is a timeless and beloved form of literature that has been around for centuries. It has the power to captivate readers with its unique blend of narrative, character development, and plot development. Short stories are often considered to be the perfect medium for exploring complex themes and ideas in a concise, entertaining way. They can be read in a single sitting, making them perfect for those with limited time. Reading short stories can also provide a sense of escapism, allowing readers to explore different worlds and characters in a short period of time. Short stories can be enjoyed by both adults and children alike, making them a great way to introduce young readers to the joys of reading. Whether you’re looking for a quick escape or a deep exploration of the human condition, short stories are sure to provide you with an entertaining and thought-provoking experience.

About Richardson

Book reviewer with a passion for reading and exploring new books. I'm always looking for new authors and stories to discover. I have a degree in English Literature and I've been writing book reviews for over five years. I'm constantly striving to find a unique perspective in my reviews, and I'm always looking for a deeper understanding of the stories I'm reading. I'm often found in libraries, bookstores and online book clubs, sharing my opinions and thoughts on a variety of books. I'm also an avid traveler and I love to explore new cultures and ideas through literature.

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