Author's Diction~Vipin Behari Goyal: The Art of Story Writing

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Art of Story Writing

Art is Long but The Story is Short

author's Diction


The short story has not been defined precisely in the lower limit of word count.  The Novel is over 40000 words, Novella is 17500 to 40000 words, Novelette is 7500 to 17500 words and a short story is less than 7500 words.

There is a myth that Earnest Hemingway wrote Eight Word shortest story of the world.

For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.



Augusto Monterroso is a Guatemalan short story writer best known for his 8-word story titled “El Dinosaurio”:

When I woke up, the dinosaur was still there.

The famous story of two strangers travelling in a train. One asked “Do you believe in ghost?”
“No, ” said the other, and disappeared.

The title of the smallest book in the world is “Who rules the world?” And it is said that it has only one page with one word written on it “Money”.

The “Chicken soup for the soul” series is a compilation of many motivational and inspirational stories.

William Shakespeare in Hamlet says “Brevity is the soul of wit”.

Art of brevity is the soul of Twitter also. To express oneself shortly and precisely is the theme of the world. People skip the pages filled with long narration even when they read voluminous classical novels.

William Strunk’sThe Elements of Style” a writing manual is popular because of its brevity.

Stephen King in his second forward of “On Writing” admits “shorter the book, the less the bullshit” and in third forward says “to write is human, to edit is divine”.

A short story has a fully developed theme. "TheAccident" is a wonderful story written by Bhisham Sahni.

The protagonist is a young woman who is engrossed in conversation with her friend. She missed the saag meat cooked by her servant Jagga, so she narrates his story to her friend. The young wife of Jagga was seduced by the younger brother of her husband. When Jagga comes to know about it, he commits suicide. The husband of protagonist settles police, widow and other relatives of Jagga amicably. Shockingly, he knew that his younger brother was having an illicit relationship with the wife of Jagga. He defended the evil act of his younger brother by saying to his wife “In youth everyone sows his wild oats and so did Vikki”.

The story is a satirical tragedy. Despite the depressive end of Jagga the story is full of humor. The chauvinistic male in Indian society is insensitive and callous to a great extent. Women do not despise such man. On the contrary, they praise it as manly quality. When her husband gives money to Jagga’s wife and father to compensate his own guilt, she says “It’s all over and done with, what’s the point in squandering money like this?” The reader is baffled by the meanness of husband and wife.

It shows a middle class bourgeois tendency to exploit the labor class of society.

© Vipin Behari Goyal
Advocate, Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur, India