Narrative prose fiction that is shorter than a novel. Short stories vary in length. Some are no longer than five hundred words; other run to forty or fifty thousand words. An extended short story is sometimes referred to as a novelette, or when slightly longer, as a novella. The major difference between a short story and longer fictional forms, such as the novel, is that the main literary elements-plot, setting, characterization- are used with greater compression in the short story than in the longer forms.
A short story is a form of short fictional narrative prose. Short stories tend to be more concise and to the point than longer works of fiction, such as novellas (in the modern sense of this term) and novels.