‘Regret’ by Kate Chopin

Chopin, Kate 1895

Regret by Kate Chopin, 1895

The magic trick:

Using a very streamlined structure; never giving the reader more information than necessary

Not my favorite Chopin story, but I love the old-school structure. So simple. So clean.

She introduces the protagonist, giving the reader only information – characteristics and setting – that is pertinent to the events of this story. Then she introduces a conflict for the protagonist. Commence story. Streamlined, elegant, like a classic, if fairly standard-issue, 19th-century building. And that’s quite a trick on Chopin’s part.

The selection:

MAMZELLE AURLIE possessed a good strong figure, ruddy cheeks, hair that was changing from brown to gray, and a determined eye. She wore a man’s hat about the farm, and an old blue army overcoat when it was cold, and sometimes top-boots.

Mamzelle Aurlie had never thought of marrying. She had never been in love. At the age of twenty she had received a proposal, which she had promptly declined, and at the age of fifty she had not yet lived to regret it.

READ THIS STORY ONLINE

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

Advertisements


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s