Writers on Writing: The Art of the Short Story

By Maurice A. Lee | Go to book overview

Wholeness and the Short Story

Billie Travalini

What is most impressive about the modern short story is its sense of Wholeness. Recently I have read dozens of short stories in contemporary magazines and collections that are less concerned with convention and mechanics and more concerned with telling a story and getting it right. The result is stories that flow easily and don't sound contrived. Gone is the formula story where plot is everything and each word, each sentence, each paragraph has a distinct purpose and leads to a singular conclusion. Gone also is the formula of the unresolved impasse where plot is secondary and each word, each sentence, each paragraph has multiple meanings and leads to no conclusion and no resolution. What has taken their place is a sensible approach to storytelling where both subsurface thinking and surface action work together, without losing one or the other, to create a sense of Wholeness. Where does Wholeness come from in the short story? Wholeness comes from causality of subsurface thinking and surface action or vice versa. What becomes important is not whether a story focuses more on the mental process or physical but if such focusing works towards Wholeness. A tree is a tree and is familiar and useful in its own form regardless of whether it is an oak or weeping willow or magnolia. So, if a short story is to be successful, readers must recognize in the working a familiar and useful sense of Wholeness.

To make sense of all this I will talk about my own writing. Most of my stories come from somewhere deep inside of me that I may or may not be aware of. But they are there just the same, incidents from my past that are stored in long-term memory like high-school yearbooks that gather dust on a shelf and

-51-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Writers on Writing: The Art of the Short Story
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 248

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.