Tag Archives: Edgar Allen Poe

The Experience of Fiction

In discussing writing fiction, I will focus on the short story, but much of what I will say will apply to writing other kinds of fiction, and very often true for other forms of narrative, even if they are factually true (as in with memoir or creative non-fiction).   How a short story differs from other kinds of fictions, from novels or plays, from monologues or fables or fairy tales, is a matter of much discussion among writers, critics, and teachers. It really is not too cynical or lazy to say that a short story is a story that is short. What we mean by story can be described as a series of events with characters in conflict somewhere in time and place (setting), that the events are communicated in language and in prose (as opposed say to a narrative painting or poem or song), and that the events are told from a point of view with an authorial attitude or perspective (point of view and tone).   What we mean by short, we can rely on Edgar Allan Poe’s definition that said the story could be read in about an hour or two. Continue reading