Editing Tip of the Week, Jinxie's World, Writing Tip of the Week

Tale vs. Short Story – 13 Aug 2012

I know I said I’d try to get a post up last week, but I was retained by drag queens for six hours the night before and couldn’t think afterward, so again, I apologize.

As you can see from the title of this post, I’m using the subject to title these from this point forward. This will make them easy to find on my blog for future reference.

This week’s Writing/Editing tip will be very short because I’d just like to share two very basic things with you that I learned in my literary criticism class a while back. These are also things I really need to remember, so I’m hoping that by writing them down, they’ll stick. Hey, I can dream!

The first regards the title of this post and was something my professor was very clear on pointing out to me after the first draft of my paper on E.A. Poe, which I’ll share with you if you’d like and if I can find it. Confusing the two is common, and especially for someone who may be new to writing or didn’t have formal training in writing or criticism (I’m talking about a degree in English, Creative Writing, etc.).

Tale vs. short story

What is the difference?

There is a difference in the construction between a tale and a short story. A shorty story has a sharp focus–either on characterization, plot, or setting. A tale describes these elements in pretty much equal degree.

Discuss in the comments below.

The next thing I’d like to share with you are those elements found in a tale.

Elements of Fiction

  • Character
  • Plot
  • Setting
  • Theme
  • Narrator
  • Style and tone

In a tale, all of these elements are focused on, not just one of them. So as an example, epic fantasy would be good because epic fantasy focuses on a lot of different aspects throughout the tale.

Discuss in the comments below.

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