Genre tips

Today’s #AtoZChallenge : Vignette

A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post every day except Sundays during the month of April on a thematic topic–nothing else. This year, I’ll be covering writing genres.

Today’s genre:



separate stories wrapped around central characters, setting

Tipsa to z

  1. A vignette is typically 800-1000 words, but can be as short as a few lines.
  2. A vignette will usually have 1-2 short scenes, moments, or impressions about a character, an idea, a theme, a setting, or an object.
  3. Most vignettes are told in just one point of view.
  4. The vignette might be part of some larger work or a complete description in itself.
  5. Provide description to achieve an artistic effect.
  6. Use this device to explore a character, describe the setting of a scene, or something else.
  7. Include lots of symbolism and imagery.
  8. Vignettes can be fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.
  9. A vignette does not require a main conflict or a resolution of a conflict.
  10. Feel free to use simple and minimal language, or lush, detailed prose.

Popular Books

  1. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  2. Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman
  3. Railroads by E.B White
  4. In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
  5. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
  6. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Click for complete list of genres

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. The sequel to To Hunt a Sub, Twenty-four Days, is scheduled for May, 2017. Click to follow its progress.

60 thoughts on “Today’s #AtoZChallenge : Vignette

  1. Pingback: #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Varsity Novel | WordDreams...

  2. Pingback: Today’s #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Vampires | WordDreams...

    • These are great for shorter reading, like waiting in the car or between events, because they’re a bit like connected short stories. I think they’re perfect for traveling–like you do.


  3. Some really interesting ones I would like to pursue – EB White, if the one I’m thinking of, was in correspondence with Jung. Einstein dreamed of sledding down a mountain slope at great speed; there’s more to this dream but he formulated his theory of relativity based on his dream. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout would fit here – won the 2009 Pulitzer in Literature. It’s a collection of short stories in which Olive makes an entrance, sometimes as the main character, sometimes as an insignificant background character.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Thank you for such a detailed description of vignettes – I think most of us would fumble around how to describe them. I particularly like this aspect about them: ‘A vignette does not require a main conflict or a resolution of a conflict.’ Never realised The Martian Chronicles would be considered as part of this genre – a terrific book.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A Hemingway I haven’t read – must grab! Also, just wanted to say how impressed I am at the way you have managed to find and compile a genre for each letter – appreciate the huge research that must have gone into each post.


    Liked by 1 person

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