Quiz Time: Is Your Short Story Cliché?

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Wow! We've been on fire with these quizzes! I had no idea they would be so popular. There's been a lot of demand for us to write more and more of these, so we'll be doing one for short story, as well as fanfiction next week. This one is very short, considering that, hey, it is short story. 


Question 1: How does your short story end?

a) It was all a dream. 

b) It was all a hallucination. 

c) It was all part of a game. 

d) None of the above. 

Question 2: Which perspective is your story written in? 

a) An animal perspective - but you don't know that until the end!

b) Some other mythical or spiritual creature - but you don't know that until the end!

c) An animal/mythical creature, but you know it all along. 

d) We are as human as a... well, a human. 

Question 3: Do you have a plot twist? Tell us about it. 

a) I have a big plot twist in the very last line, but it's not foreshadowed at all. 

b) I have a big plot twist in the very last line, but it is foreshadowed. 

c) The plot twist is present, but not in the final line. 

d) There is no big plot twist. There doesn't need to be. 

Question 4: Do you start the story with "Once Upon a Time"? 

a) Yes. Guilty. Sue me! 

b) A variation of it, but not that exact same wording!

c) I use it, but it's for ironic purposes. 

d) Nope. 

Question 5: Is there a message in your story? 

a) It's abstract writing. There doesn't need to be a message! 

b) No. It's just supposed to shake up the reader.

c) Yes. The final line is a philosophical message. 

d) Yes, but it's open for interpretation. 

Question 6: Do you describe the setting?

a) Nope. Not necessary. I have to stick to a word limit, here! 

b) I may or may not have gone overboard when it comes to description. There's more setting than plot in my story! I describe the characters' hair, their clothes, the length of the posters on their walls...

c) There's a sentence or two.

d) I only describe the setting purposefully. 

Question 7: Do your characters undergo character development? 

a) In 500 words? Pft, of course not. 

b) They change so much! They go from sobbing at Barney to ripping a zombie's head off in the span of a few hundred words! 

c) Yes, it's a rite of passage book. Of course they change. 

d) They change in a subtle manner, even though it is not necessarily a rite of passage book. 

Question 8: How many settings do you have? 

a) So many! We go through at least 5 settings - not for any particular reason. 

b) We go through 5 or more settings, but for a very clear reason - we need to live through this characters' day. 

c) There are about 3 - 4 settings. 

d) There is around 1 - 2 settings.

Question 9: How many characters do you have?

a) Erm, more than 5? Not for any particular reason. 

b) We have lots of characters, but they all contribute greatly to the short story. 

c) There are about 3 - 4 characters. 

d) There are about 1 - 2 characters. 

Question 10: Are humans the bad guys? 

a) You mean... zombies? Yeah. 

b) Not zombies, but humans are killing humans because humans suck.

c) It talks about the woes of human nature, but the humans are necessarily actively violent. 

d) Humans aren't the bad guys.

Score your story using the following key: 

a = 20 points

b = 10 points 

c = 5 points

d = 1 point

If you scored 125 - 200 points: 

Okay, so your short story is definitely in the cliché. That's okay - it might even be done ironically. Cliché short stories aren't necessarily bad; they can still be enjoyable, heart-wrenching, and thrilling. However, the problem? It's... probably been done before. That, or your short story isn't all that grounded. But that's okay - with a bit more fleshing out of your characters, settings, and the conflict, you'll have a great and engaging short story.

If you scored 75 - 124 points: 

Your story is heading towards the cliché side of things, but you've got just enough twists and turns to keep that short story of you new and fresh! Well done on adding your own unique spin to things, and keep that up! Don't be afraid to rethink about your concepts and see whether you can change them up even more, and really keep your readers on their toes. 

If you scored: 40 - 74 points: 

Well done! You've got a pretty unique idea happening here! Your short story is complex and unique, and though there was a thing or two that you have done that wouldn't be considered 'fresh', you've still got something that is very original and very much your own. Well done! Keep up the great work! Besides, who said a bit of cliché is bad? Let's face it: they're clichés because we love the cliché when it is used effectively. My guess is that you use it flawlessly. 

If you scored 10 - 39 points: 

Wow. Wow! Look at you go, you champion! Your short story is not only rich and complex, but is also gripping and original with its idea! You should be very proud of yourself - if you consider how many short stories have been written in the past few centuries, it's certainly not easy to come up with something that is 100% original. And, yet, somehow, you have done it. Give yourself a pat on the back, and go have a nice, warm cup of tea. You deserve it! 

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