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A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in narrative format. A short story usually deals with a few characters and often concentrates on the creation of the mood rather than the plot.
The short story format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas (in the 20th and 21st century sense) and novels. Short story definitions based on length differ somewhat, even among professional writers, in part because of the fragmentation of the medium into genres. Since the short story format includes a wide range of genres and styles, the actual length is determined by the individual author's preference and the submission guidelines relevant to the story's actual market. Guidelines vary greatly among publishers.
Many short story writers define their work through a combination of creative, personal expression, and artistic integrity. They attempt to resist...