Developing the challenge I proposed here: It is generally agreed that some combination of all the following elements is essential in having a good short story:
SETTING, CHARACTER, PLOT, POINT OF VIEW, CONFLICT, THEME.
In illustrating this, here is a short story I have whipped up based on the following title. I have avoided using a picture prompt, as that adds a thousand extra words and is cheating!
The rhino was perfectly silhouetted against the acacias. Zuka took aim.
‘No you don’t,’ Vusi breathed, raising his rifle. Zuka stepped behind a trunk. Vusi cursed.
A gunshot came; deafeningly.
Zuka screamed, elbow shattered. The rhino fled.
Thandi emerged opposite, rifle smoking. ‘Told you you’d need backup,’ she smirked.
How does this story use the elements?
- Setting: Rhino, acacias, rife, opposite, Nguni names = African bushveld, with a clearing inferred.
- Characters: Zuka (assumed poacher) Vusi (assumed ranger) Thandi (assumed girlfriend of Vusi).
- Plot: Foiled attempt at poaching a rhino.
- Point of view: Third person, limited to Vusi (the narration is confined to what he can see).
- Conflict: Between Zuka on the one side and Vusi and Thandi on the other.
- Theme: Assumed anti-poaching.
My challenge is to produce another 49 words to add to a title of ‘Wounded’. Please have a try in comments!