What is the Story?

A short story is a story or short narrative of a fictional or real naturel, with an argument that is easy to understand and whose objective is educational or playful.

In a more colloquial way, it is also spoken of story to refer to a lie, excuse or made up story. Similarly, a story is a mess or gossip.

The word story comes from the Latin compute (‘bill’).

Characteristics of the story

Although fairy tales are very varied and touch on multiple themes, they share certain common characteristics:

  • The story has a central structure linked to a protagonist: in stories multiple plots are avoided, which do exist in novels.
  • Actions are usually located in time and space from the beginning: “once upon a time there was a king who lived in an enchanted castle…”
  • it’s fictional: Although a story may be based on real events, its narrative points to the fantastic.
  • Every action triggers a consequence.
  • The main characters must solve problems or overcome difficult tests in order to achieve your goal.
  • There is one or several key characters that are essential so that the protagonist can pass his tests: the fairy that helps the princess, the animal that indicates the way forward, etc.
  • They must be brief.
  • They should be read from cover to cover as a single structure: being short stories and with a basic structure, if they are read in fragments, the effect that the story should generate is lost.
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Parts of a story

The story, as a story or narration, comprises a series of actions with one or more characters within a historical and physical context, sometimes unspecified.

In a generic way, a common structure of three parts has been established: beginning, middle and end.

  • Beginning: It is the beginning of the story, where the characters and the situation in which an imbalance or rupture element that triggers the plot usually occurs.
  • Knot: It is the central part of the story, where the conflict arises in the plot and the characters carry out unexpected actions.
  • Outcome: supposes the closure of the story, sometimes restoring the initial balance and concluding with a new situation. In fables, the story ends with a moral.

types of stories

The story is divided into two categories: popular story and literary story.

These are fictitious stories of unknown authors, and that generally come from oral tradition. These types of stories can be:

fairy or wonder tales

Fairy tales are carried out by fantastic or supernatural characters, such as fairies, elves, witches, etc. The story of little Red Riding Hood belongs to this category.


Fables are stories in which animals or objects take on anthropomorphic characteristics (they look and/or behave like human beings). Generally, they leave a moral or teaching. The fables of Uncle Tiger and Uncle Rabbitby the Venezuelan author Antonio Arráiz, belong to this classification.

tales of customs

These are stories whose objective is to reflect either agrarian or feudal societies. In this type of stories, maidens, princes, the king, peasants, etc. are common. An example of tales of customs are the stories of Chickpeaa character from the Spanish oral tradition, the son of peasants and whose main characteristic is that he is as small as a chickpea.

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the tales of cinderella Y Sleeping Beautycompiled by the Grimm brothers, are perhaps the most popular examples of folk tales.

literary tale

It is a fictional story that, unlike the popular tale, whose origin and spread is based on oral tradition, has been created directly in written format, and in most cases has a known author. the black catby Edgar Allan Poe is an example of a literary short story

Stories for children

Children’s stories are not in themselves a type of story, since they can be popular or literary tales. However, they are highly relevant in the learning process, since they stimulate the imagination with the use of images and usually leave an exemplary message.

Some of the classic children’s stories are Hamelin’s futist Y Hansel and Gretel of the Brothers Grimm, the adventures of pinocchiooh just Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. While some more current examples may be The little gluttonous caterpillar by Eric Dale and where the monsters live by Maurice Sendak.

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