What is the Story?

A story is a fictional or real story or short narrative, with an easy-to-understand argument and whose objective is educational or playful.

In a more colloquial way, it is also spoken of "story" to refer to a lie, excuse or made up story. Similarly, a "story" is a mess or gossip.

The term tale comes from Latin compÅ­tus ("bill").

Characteristics of the story

Although the storytelling stories are highly varied and touch on multiple themes, they share certain common characteristics:

  • The story has a central structure linked to a protagonist: multiple plots are avoided in stories, which do exist in novels.
  • Actions are usually located in time and space from the beginning: "there was once a king who lived in an enchanted castle ..."
  • It is fictional: although a story may be based on real events, its narrative points to the fantastic.
  • Each action triggers a consequence.
  • The main characters must solve problems or pass difficult tests in order to achieve their goal.
  • There is one or more key characters that are essential for the protagonist to pass his tests: the fairy who helps the princess, the animal that indicates the way forward, etc.
  • They should be brief.
  • They should be read from beginning to end as a single structure: as they are short stories and with a basic structure, if they are read in fragments, the effect that the story should generate is lost.

Parts of a story

The story, as a story or narrative, comprises a series of actions with one or more characters within a historical and physical context, sometimes unspecified.

In a generic way, a common structure of three parts has been established: beginning, middle and end.

  • Beginning: it is the beginning of the story, where the characters and the situation are presented in which an imbalance or element of rupture that triggers the plot usually occurs.
  • Knot: it is the central part of the story, where the conflict in the plot arises and the characters carry out unexpected actions.
  • Outcome: supposes the closing of the story, sometimes restoring the initial balance and concluding with a new situation. In fables, the story ends with a moral.

Types of stories

The story is divided into two categories: folk tale and literary tale.

Popular tale

These are fictitious stories of unknown authors, and that generally come from oral tradition. This type of stories can be:

Fairy tales or wonderful

Fairy tales are led by fantastic or supernatural characters, such as fairies, goblins, witches, etc. The story of little Red Riding Hood belongs to this category.


Fables are stories in which animals or objects acquire anthropomorphic characteristics (they look and / or behave like human beings). They generally leave a moral or teaching. The fables of Uncle Tiger and Uncle Rabbit, by the Venezuelan author Antonio Arráiz, belong to this classification.

Tales of customs

These are stories whose objective is either to reflect agrarian or feudal societies. Maidens, princes, the king, peasants, etc. are common in this type of stories. An example of tales of customs are the stories of Chickpea, a character of the Spanish oral tradition, son of some peasants and whose main characteristic is that he is as small as a chickpea.

The tales of Cinderella Y Sleeping Beauty, collected by the Brothers Grimm, are perhaps the most popular examples of tales of customs.

Literary tale

It is a fictitious story that, unlike the popular tale, whose origin and diffusion is based on oral tradition, has been created directly in written format, and in most cases has a known author. The black catby Edgar Allan Poe is an example of a literary tale

Stories for children

Children's stories are not in themselves a type of story, as they can be popular or literary stories. However, they have a great relevance in the learning process, since they stimulate the imagination with the use of images and often leave an exemplary message.

Some of the classic children's stories are Hamelin's futist Y Hansel and Gretel of the brothers Grimm, The Adventures of Pinochor or simply Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. While some more current examples may be The gluttonous little caterpillar by Eric Dale and Where the monsters live by Maurice Sendak when we have the information.

See also: Legend

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