Guide to Literary Terms

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What is a story?

A story is a sequence of related events. Story is related to plot, which refers to the events themselves, and to the narrative, which refers to how a story is conveyed.


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Last Updated May 26, 2023.

A story is a chronological sequence of related events designed to amuse, inform, or instruct the reader or listener. Stories can be told in verse or prose and concern real or imaginary people and events. 

The story is the sequence of chronological and related events conveyed in a text. Story differs from plot, which refers to the events of a story in the order in which they are presented within a text. It also differs from narrative, which refers to how a story is told to achieve a particular effect.

Story comes from the Latin word historia, meaning “history, tale.” 

Any work of narrative prose, such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun or Julia Alvarez’s In the Time of the Butterflies, is a story. 

see: in medias resshort storylegendfablemythdramanovelplotfiction

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