Understanding the Short Story

I stumbled upon a Post a Day Blog. The challenge was to write a short story that ends with the following sentence:

Having learned his lesson, it was the last time Dr. Jiggybones would let the crossbeams get out of skew on the treadle.

Before writing a short story, it’s important to understand the elements of this form of literature. Here is an excerpt taken from “Understanding the Short Story” from the quick study reference guide, published by Permacharts.

I selected the section entitled “Closure in the Short Story” since the challenge was to write a short story with a specific ending.

“Closure is a literary term referring to the sense of resolution supposedly experienced at the conclusion of many works of literature (e.g. “And they all lived happily ever after”). Many literary critics have argued that, properly speaking, there is no such thing as closure, even in stories where a resolution (happy or not) of the various conflicts appears to occur, because, as in real life, there are always ensuing consequences. Some of the best short stories contain a culminating moment where the truth is revealed to the main character, and by implication, to the reader. Other, equally fine stories, defy closure and conclude on an open-ended note where the reader is left with unresolved issues and mysteries. With short stories, readers should not go out of their way to look for closure, or even to expect it at all”.

This Permachart was written by Terry Matheson, Ph.D. He teaches at the University of Saskatchewan, where he has received several teaching awards, including the Student Union’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the University’s Master Teacher Award. This Permachart is part of the Award-Winning Professors Series of Permacharts that features authors who have been recognized for their teaching excellence, educational leadership, and commitment to academic excellence and their students’ success. The content in this series of Permacharts has been created by these distinguished professors to spark the interest of those considering studying the subjects, while providing solid reference guides for current students.

For more information about Permacharts, click here. All Permacharts are laminated on both sides with a sealed edge to ensure product is waterproof and tear proof. The product comes with our limited lifetime warranty against peeling and delaminating.

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About Permacharts

Publisher of premium laminated quick reference study guides, job aids and cheat sheets. The company has produced quick reference materials for more than 20 years and distributes its reference cards and guides through the Internet and through major retailers everywhere. The company headquarters is in Toronto and it also maintains facilities in New York state.
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