Short stories require different styles and features, than regular novels. Single characters, shortened plots, and a conflict with resolution, are some of the key features that make a successful short story. With having a single character, it lets the writer develop their background, which gives the reader much needed description to create an understanding, or relationship with the character.
The shortened plot, with a build up to the conflict and resolution, grips the reader, and makes them feel the suspense of the author’s story.
In “Royal Beatings” by Alice Munroe, Rose is the main character of the short story. She is a believable character that Munroe describes in what clearly was hard time and place to grow up. Not only living in a poor area of town, Rose had a strained relationship with her stepmother, as Munroe describes “she could not stand to know any more, about her father, or about Flog”.
The character Munroe has created makes the reader feel compassion and sympathy for her.
She is a child, acting the way children do, with a stepmother who has been thrown into a mother’s role. The story is a successful one because Munroe gets it right with the emphasis on Rose as the main character, and touching briefly on her siblings background, as well as Flog, Becky, and her father. From the offset of the story, there is the threat of a “Royal beating. That was Fool’s promise.
You’re going to get one Royal Beating. ” The story actually introduces the conflict immediately, and from there the suspense slowly builds throughout. The conflict is extremely detailed and gripping. Munroe is able to make the reader picture, or imagine, what is exactly happening in the kitchen. What makes the inflict more interesting is the fact the Ho, who initiated for the father to do the beating, wanted to stop it, “Flog is shrieking too. Stop, stop! The end of the story makes the reader feel sorry or compassion for Flog, as it is now her that relied on Rose, before being put into a home. When Rose hears the interview, she wants to tell someone, and the first person that comes to mind is Flog. The reader is made to feel as if there is a reversal of guilt; Flog felt guilty for the beating, now Rose feels guilty for Who’s situation. The single character feature of the short story “Royal Beating’ was essential in asking it a successful story as it helped develop a relationship with the reader.
It was able to do this by making the reader believe the character, and feel compassion and sympathy towards her. The second successful feature of the story was that the conflict was able to build suspense, grip the reader, and show the guilt that the characters had. These are two of the most important features that make a successful short story.