A Very Short Story Sample


Rhetorical Situation

Genre: Flash Fiction

Audience: Your choice

Purpose: Your choice

Stance: Your call; based on audience and purpose

Medium: Electronic/digital


Length: 300 words

Assignment Guidelines
Beginning: Have you immersed readers in the story immediately, avoiding unnecessary commentary and instead used dialogue or action to make your reader feel as though they are in the scene with you?

Middle: Have you focused on showing and not telling? Are you focused on leaving a dominant impression?  As your story develops, you’ll have described a setting in which the story happens and you’ll have developed the character of at least one person.  You will also have developed a plot of sorts with some type of conflict and a resolution. It’s this that makes makes your story interesting: however, it’s important to note that in extremely short stories, such as “Baby Shoes,” (attributed to Ernest Hemingway), the 500-1000 word story that you have written, these elements are often implied.

Ending: If a story has action or movement, it has a high point (climax) and an end. However,  a story does not aim to sum up or make a point. Instead your aim is to leave an impact on the reader. For this reason you may choose an ambiguous or a cliff-hanger ending. Don’t hesitate to end somewhat abruptly. This sort of ending will produce a far more powerful impact on the reader than if you were to attempt to tell the reader what it all means.