Definition of short stories: structure, function, characteristics, elements and examples of short stories

What is the meaning of the short story? – Do you like reading short stories? Short stories must have been familiar since we were in elementary school. We have read various stories in books, magazines or tabloids, but do you know what is the difference between short stories and other stories? For those of you who want to write short stories, you must listen to the following understanding of short stories.

Definition of Short Stories (Short Stories)

Short stories can also be called prose fiction because the stories presented only focus on one conflict of problems experienced by the characters, starting from identifying the characters to solving the problems experienced by the characters. Short stories also consist of no more than 10,000 words.

Short stories are short stories. When reading short stories, it is usually very quickly finished. In addition, the contents of short stories are also very easy to understand because the stories are relatively short. Therefore, many people like short and uncomplicated stories like short stories.

In general, the problems told in short stories are not too complicated. Therefore the number of words in short stories is also limited. Usually short stories consist of various stories such as the genres of romance, affection, humor, and others. The short stories also contain messages and mandates for the readers, so that we are not only entertained, we can apply each of these messages in our daily lives.

Definition of short stories according to experts

Here are some definitions of short stories according to experts:

1. According to KBBI

Short stories are short stories that contain stories that contain no more than 10 thousand words. In general, stories in short stories can give a dominant impression and concentrate on the problems of one character. According to him, in a short story there is no story of up to 100 pages.

2. According to Nugroho Notosusanto in Tarigan

According to Nugroho Notosusanto, short stories are short stories made in a word count starting from 5000 words with an estimate of 17 double-spaced quarto pp. In addition, the story in the short story is only self-centered, which means only one character.

3. According to JS Badudu

According to JS Badudu, short stories are short stories that focus and concentrate on one event. In the events of the incident only tells one story character only.

4. According to Sumardjo

According to him, short stories are stories that do not really happen in the real world. But the story can happen anywhere and anytime even in the real world and the story is relatively short and short.

5. According to Hendy

According to Hendy, short stories are short stories that are written briefly and briefly. The writing on short stories is not told too long and contains a single narrative story.

6. According to JS Badudu

According to Badudu, a short story is a story that is centered on one event that is experienced by only one character. The story that occurs in short stories occurs because of the events that grow these events.

7. According to Ah. KH

According to Ah. KH short stories are short prose where the stories are written in fiction and fantasy.

8. According to HB Jassin

A short story is a short story that has a section where there is a complete structure starting from introductions, problems and solutions to these problems.

9. According to Saini

According to Saini, a short story is a short story that is fictional in nature and does not occur in the real world, but can occur anytime and anywhere in relatively short and clear stories.

10. According to A. Bakar Hamid

According to Hamid, short stories are short stories that have characteristics such as a small number of words between 500 and 10,000 words in one short story and only have one character.

Thus the definition of short stories that have been stated by several experts, from all these definitions it can be concluded that short stories are one of the literary works in the form of short stories which generally contain fiction or fantasy stories. After discussing the meaning of short stories, the next discussion is the structure of short stories.

Short Story Structure

In a short story usually consists of some necessary structure such as basic elements and abstract additions. This structure is very necessary when compiling a short story. Here are some basic elements for building a short story:

1. Abstract

Abstract is an initial description of the story being told. In abstract short stories it is usually used as a complement to the story. Therefore the abstract is optional or may not exist in the short story.

2. Orientation

In the short story orientation, it usually explains the background of the story such as time, atmosphere, place/location used in the depiction of the short story.

3. Complications

Complications explain the structure related to the initial presentation of a problem faced by a character. The character traits of the characters are also explained in this section. In addition, the complications also explain the sequence of events related to cause and effect.

4. Evaluation

In this evaluation section there is a conflict problem that is increasingly peaking. The conflict begins towards the climax and gets a solution to the problem that occurred.

5. Resolution

Resolution is the final part of the problem that occurs in the short story. In this section there is an explanation from the author regarding the solution to the problems experienced by the characters.

6. Code

Coda is a moral value or message contained in a short story that is conveyed by the author to the readers. The moral message conveyed is in accordance with the type of short story.


Short Story Function

In general, short stories have a very short and clear story. However, short stories also have functions like other literary works. The following is included in the short story function:

1. Recreational Function

Recreative function is as a means of entertainment for the readers.

2. Aesthetic Function

The aesthetic function is as an aesthetic value or beauty in short stories so as to provide satisfaction to the reader.

3. Didactive function

The diactive function is to provide lessons or education that will benefit the reader.

4. Morality Function

The function of morality is as a moral value based on the contents of the story to find out the good and bad that the author conveys to the readers.

5. Religious Functions

The function of religiosity is as a religious teacher who can later be used as a good example by readers.

Although short stories only have short stories, they have the meaning and knowledge contained in a short story. Usually short stories provide a positive value that can be taken by readers. That way the positive value can be utilized for everyday life.

Characteristics of short stories

So that you know more about what short stories are, then it’s not just knowing the meaning of short stories. A short story has certain distinctive characteristics where these characteristics will later be used as a differentiator from other literary works. The characteristics of short stories as follows:

  1. In general, short stories are fictitious or in the form of essays by the author.
  2. Short stories have a wording of no more than 10,000 (ten thousand) words.
  3. When reading short stories, it is usually finished in one sitting.
  4. Short stories have a very short story form.
  5. Short stories have uncomplicated diction or word choices so that they are easily understood by readers.
  6. Short stories only have a single storyline or one storyline.
  7. The stories in short stories usually come from events in everyday life.
  8. The characters in the short story are very simple.
  9. At the end of the section there is usually a very deep moral message that makes the reader feel the story in the short story.

Types of Short Stories (Short Stories)

In this article, not only the meaning of short stories will be explained, but the types of short stories will also be explained. Not all short stories are always categorized as short stories. There are several types of short stories / short stories that are usually made by writers. Here are the various types of short stories that you should know:

1. Short Stories

As we know, a short story is a type of story that is less than 10,000 words in length. The first type of short stories is short stories. And as the name suggests, this short story tends to be shorter than other types of short stories. The word length of short stories is around 500 to 700 words.

This fictitious essay is usually used to explain an incident with language that is short, concise, attention-grabbing, and effective. The opening section is usually very small, about 1 to 2 paragraphs, then goes to the core conflict section. The ending is also usually less than other types of short stories.

2. Medium short stories

The second type of short story or short story is medium short story. Medium short stories are usually around 700 to 1,000 words long. Medium short stories can also be found easily in school textbooks because they are considered effective and attract attention.

Medium Short Stories are slightly longer than Short Short Stories. So that the opening part will also be a little longer than the short short story. In addition, the characterizations of the characters being told can be described in clearer sentences. Not only that, short stories are usually used to explain the story in more detail.

3. Long Short Stories

The last type of short story is Long Short Story. This one short story is usually made with a length of about 1,000 words or more. And there is even a short story that is made close to 5,000 words or even 10,000 words. This type of short story has the general characteristic of a relaxed narrative.

Because the author wants to tell a fairly long story, usually the opening and closing are quite long too. The process of entering the conflict section is also longer than usual, so that readers can better understand the story in more detail. Usually this type of short story is rarely shown in textbooks because it is quite long.

In addition to having several types of short stories, In the Tips for Writing Short Stories book, it is explained that each short story has a different vision and writing style, the creative process, and much more. If Sinaumeds is interested, click “buy now” below.

Intrinsic Elements of Short Stories

A short story or short story has a forming element that must be present in the short story itself. This element is called the intrinsic element. The intrinsic element will build the story the writer wants to convey. Here are some intrinsic elements:

1. Theme

A short story must have a story theme. This is because the theme is the main element that the author wants to convey in the story.

2. Groove or Plot

The plot or plot is the sequence of events or storyline in a short story. In general, the plot of a short story begins with an introduction, conflict, then resolution. However, there are several types of storylines, namely forward plot, backward plot, and mixed plot.

3. Settings

Setting is an explanation of the setting or place, time, and atmosphere that occurs in the short story.

4. Figures

Characters are actors who are told in a short story. Character consists of the main character and supporting actor.

5. Character

Character is a description of the nature of the actors. There are three types of character, namely protagonist (good), antagonist (evil) and neutral.

6. Point of view or point of view

Point of view is the author’s point of view when telling a story in a short story. The point of view is divided into two forms, namely the first person point of view which consists of the main actor (“I” is the main character) and side actors (“I tell other people). While the third person point of view consists of the all-knowing (“he” becomes the main character) and the observer (“he” tells other people).

7. Mandate

Mandate is a moral message or lesson conveyed by the author to the reader. The moral message conveyed is usually implicit or explicit.

Not only short story writers who have these elements, the writing of other works also requires rules in it. Therefore it is very important for writers to understand tips that can make it easier for them to write a paper. The Writing Tips Collection book by Rasibook contains tips on writing, how to find ideas, and much more.

Extrinsic Elements of Short Stories

In a short story there are often additional events that occur in an environment. This is called extrinsic elements or elements that come from outside to build a short story. With the existence of extrinsic elements, the short stories that are read become more emotional.

Here are some extrinsic elements in a short story:

  1. There is a background from the author. Usually the background in short stories comes from the author’s personal experience. However, it is not uncommon for authors to take stories from other people’s stories.
  2. There is a background from the community. The background of this community will help the storyline progress. Usually also affects the content of the story as well.
  3. There is a biography that describes the author’s comprehensive and complete biodata, curriculum vitae and experiences.
  4. There is a literary genre that influences the style of language used by the author when conveying his story.
  5. There are psychological conditions in the form of happy, sad, joy and sorrow that affect the mood of the writer when making a short story.

Articles Related to Short Stories: 

  • Definition of short stories
  • Characteristics of short stories
  • How to Make Short Stories
  • Short Story Examples
  • Examples of Non-Fiction Stories
  • Short Story Book Collection

Short Story Related Books:

  • Short Story Book
  • Children’s Fairy Tale Book
  • Children’s Story Book
  • Story book with picture
  • Poetry Book
  • Quotes Book

Short Story Language Rules

Short stories have linguistic characteristics that can be seen through the choice of language style and diction used. In short stories, the writer generally uses a strong physical description of the characters. This will help set the right tone and fit the story.

In short stories also use adverbial phrases or adverbs that help show the setting of a place or time, such as in the morning, evening or in a place where an incident occurred. Besides that, it also has to apply the use of direct and indirect sentences or in the form of dialogue.

Short stories are also synonymous with the use of figurative or connotative words to add an aesthetic impression so that it will add value to the satisfaction of the readers. Besides that, it also uses informal and semi-formal sentences in accordance with the events.

Examples of short stories and their intrinsic elements

In writing a good short story, you can use other short stories as a reference both in the way or style of writing, plot, and much more. You can use the book A Collection of Short Stories on Love and Social Media by Nur Siti Aisyah et al. because it contains a variety of interesting short stories.

My school holidays

After distributing report cards at school, I was finally able to enjoy a long vacation. Even though I didn’t get top rankings, I still got pretty good grades. I’m still happy because I imagine my family taking me on vacation.
My father and mother invited me to go on vacation to a fun tourist spot. I can’t wait to go on holiday. Even I am confused to choose which clothes to wear. “What time do I wear?” I asked myself. “Ah the blue one is really good, but the red one is also really good!”

I also went to see my father and mother who were busy watching TV. Then I talked to them, “Dad, Mom, how about we go on vacation to the beach? I really want to go there.” Father and mother suddenly only looked at each other, then father said “Son, for this holiday you just stay at home, okay with Mom, because Dad has to have work out of town.” I am very disappointed with father’s statement but I have to accept his decision.

The days have passed and I’m just enjoying my school holidays at home. Although I actually also want to go out with friends. But mother forbade me to go outside, and only told me to help with housework like cleaning the house. Even if I only went out to the market and that too accompanied by my mother.

However, I still do productive work, such as studying for the national exams which will take place in a few months. Actually I also feel bored to be at home all the time. Sometimes I want to refuse my mother’s request when she tells me to, but I can only accept and do it.

One day, mother knocked on my door and told me “you take a shower soon, mom, wait outside.” I answered “where are we going ma’am?” Then the mother replied, “Mother wants to take you for a walk to the city park, yes, all the time you are at home.” Suddenly I felt happy “That’s right ma’am, okay then I’ll take a shower first.”

After that I went to the city park with Mother. Even though it’s just an afternoon walk around the park, I already feel really happy. Maybe it’s because I’ve been staying at home for too long and this is the first time I’ve been enjoying a walk. To be sure I am very happy because mom took me for a walk in the afternoon.

The intrinsic elements contained in the short story above are as follows:

  1. The short story above has a holiday theme.
  2. The plot in the short story is the forward plot.
  3. The short story above has a setting in a house and a city park. The background time shows the afternoon.
  4. The characters in the story are Me, Mother and Father.
  5. Each character has a different character or character and supports each other. The character of Aku is quiet, devoted to parents, while the character of Ibu has the character of being patient, painstaking, caring and unyielding. The character of the father is patient, compassionate and hardworking and responsible for the family.
  6. The point of view used is first person
  7. The short story above has a message in the form of a moral message which trains children so they don’t always go on vacation when they enter the holiday season. Apart from that, it also teaches children independence so that they can take advantage of the holidays productively.

That’s a discussion about the meaning of short stories (short stories) that you must know. Hopefully it adds to your knowledge about the ins and outs of short stories. Have a good study!