Guide to Literary Terms Story

Start Your Free Trial

Download Guide to Literary Terms Study Guide

Subscribe Now


Story - a narrative, either true or fictional in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or inform listeners or readers. In literature, it is a sequence of imagined events that the reader constructs from the plot, and may include events preceding or postdating what the reader sees on the printed page, since the story may be started in medias res.

The etymology of story is discussed under the listing of short story.

Since a story is a narrative, any prose, such as Chopin’s The Awakening, Haley’s The Autobiography of Malcom X, and Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God are all examples of stories.

see: allegory, ballad, black comedy, comedy, drama, epic, fable, fantasy, farce, fiction, first person narrative, folk tale, legend, literature, melodrama, morality play, myth, narrative, Noh, novel, parable, parody, pastoral, poetry, plot, prose, saga, satire, science fiction, short story, tragedy

Explore all literary terms.