what does tale mean?

What is a Story ?

Story is a literary genre marked by short stories , written in prose and less complex in relation to novels.


The story is a narrative text . It focuses on a particular fact or event, it is generally a fiction, that is, it is an invented story. The stories are fanciful , fantasy stories that are told a lot to children.

It has a narrator, who tells the story and a plot, that is, the story is divided into beginning, middle and end.



The origin of tales is related to the tradition of telling stories verbally.
When transcribed, these same stories (usually following a single plot) result in a concise narrative that can be read very quickly.

The term tale can be translated from English as ” tale “, a type of short text that necessarily addresses epic, popular or fantasy themes.

With the rise of new writing techniques and styles , the term has acquired a broader meaning that can be expressed in the English language as ” short story “, a text whose only mandatory features are prose writing and short length.

Characteristics of a story

The current literary variety allows a story to be presented in various ways.
As stated above, the only absolute features of the style are prose writing and short narrative , so a story can follow any genre or structure without implying its classification.

However, the stories present some elements that, regardless of the genre and structure chosen by the author, end up being recurrent:

  • Single Plot – Unlike novels, short stories tend to focus on one plot that doesn’t unfold in smaller plots.
  • Simplicity: Due to the unique plot, the stories do not usually require great interpretations on the part of the reader.
  • Little time: stories often have plots that do not extend over long periods. It is common, for example, for the story to happen in a single day.
  • Starting near the end: Tales usually don’t take time to introduce the setting and characters, so the story begins near the climax and end.
  • Few characters: Because they are more objective, stories often have a very small number of characters.
  • Sudden ending: In stories, it is normal for the ending to occur immediately after the climax. Therefore, there is no phase in history where we can follow the consequences of conflict resolution.
  • Single objective: because it has no consequences, the story seeks to cause a unique feeling in the reader (joy, indignation, melancholy, etc.) or simply tell a story.

These characteristics make the story the perfect narrative genre for children , especially fairy tales. It is worth clarifying that these elements are not mandatory and that the absence of one or more of them does not disqualify the text as a story.

Story example
The following story is called “The truth is also recovered” by the writer José Cândido de Carvalho and brings together all the elements mentioned above.

“When the delegate arrived at Pipeiras Nonô Pestana it was that buzz, that discomfort. The delegate came dragging huge shovels. It was with great pride that Nonô said that he was showing the work instrument:

“There is no such thing as a spontaneous confession to me!” With me everyone enters the instrumental. It is the only way that the authority can know if the subject is criminal or innocent.

And well, Nonô hadn’t rolled up his sleeves, a redhead appeared saying that he had killed a certain Big Head boy. Therefore, he confessed that he was repentant and ready to purge, in the mesh of the law:

“I killed and buried Chico in the patio of my house.”

It was then that the delegate, within his principles of justice, passed the confessor through a brutal and intelligent candlestick. And the little boy got so caught up that he ended up confessing everything. He swore with folded hands that he was a liar and an inventor. That another had dismembered Chico.

– That is what I say and prove. There is no way for a suspect to tell the truth.

And he released the man.”

Tales and Chronicles

Stories and chronicles are very similar literary genres .
Both are short texts, written in prose and without a specific genre or structure. The difference between the two lies in the content of the text .

What does narrative text mean?

While the purpose of tales is simply to tell a short story , fictional or not, chronicles often convey critical reflection or teaching applicable to everyday life.

To achieve this goal, the chronicle can be a linear story (beginning, middle and end) or even a set of ideas not connected by a plot.

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