Techniques of Fiction

Fiction is a powerful thing in the hands of a skilled author. But what makes fiction so powerful, and how do authors do so much with words?

Let’s start with the elements of fiction.

Elements of Fiction


The one you relate with, converse with or listen to the thoughts of.

This character and the way he or she changes as the story progresses become the driving force of fiction – the reason that you as a reader will be interested or disinterested as you read.

The character may be kind, rich, confusing, annoying, bratty, complicated, ever-changing, and so on.

In the end, the character of a short story still holds the key to whether the fiction will be good or not.


Sometimes, characters also serve as symbols of a story.

A short story may use a character, object, or event to signify something else from its original meaning.

A character may symbolize a community or an event in history.

Two characters interacting in a story may symbolize the conflict or union between two different societies.


What is the intention of the character?

This intention sets the plot for the short story, wherein you will see how well-rounded the protagonist is and what he or she is capable of doing just to get what he or she desires.

Depending on the outcome of the story, the character may either triumph or fail, and seeing how the character reacts to these changes also sets the tone for climax, until the short story is concluded.


Short stories also express a lot of irony in life situations.

There are three kinds of irony that you will encounter in short stories.

  • Verbal Irony
  • Situational Irony (twist and turn)
  • Dramatic Irony


This is created by the writer.

This world, as imagined by the writer, may be fictional or real depending on the choice of the setting.

The characters move in this world – they interact, talk, win, lose, leave, or stay in this world.

In fiction, more often than not, these world and those in them have meanings or symbolism too.

This was originally published on my previous website at Teacher Anele <>

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