Elements of Literature
Understanding How Literary Elements Affect Text
What is the Difference?

Both short stories and novels fall into the same category of writing, prose. Prose is defined as the ordinary form of written language (another way to define prose is to say anything that is not poetry, drama, or song).

Prose is divided into two genres, or forms -- fiction and nonfiction. For this quarter, the focus will be mainly on fiction. Fiction can be divided into several genres as well: short story, novella, and novel.

Short stories are, like the name says, short works of fiction. In the story is a sequence of events known as the plot. The plot usually deals with a central conflict faced by the protagonist. The events in the short story usually communicate a message about life or human nature.

Novels are longer works of fiction. In addition to the main plot, a novel may contain subplots, or independent, related stories. A novel may also have several themes.

**FYI: Novellas are works of fiction that are longer than a short story, but shorter than a novel.**


California Content Standards
English and Language Arts
Grade Seven
Reading
ELA.7.3.0 Literary Response and Analysis
Structural Features of Literature
ELA.7.3.1. Articulate the expressed purposes and characteristics of different forms of prose (e.g., short story, novel, novella, essay).