Not every piece of writing is a story. A lot of what I'm reading in the review section for short stories are not stories. A story has certain elements that must be present in order for the work to be a "story." Theme A story is about something (The life of a fisherman in the Arctic Circle). Setting We have to have a well-described setting to get into the story (The fishing vessle, Seabound, rockin and a rollin in the Arctic Ocean). Characters These cannot just be names. They have to be described, at least a little, in order for us to know them. If we don't know them, we won't care what happens to them (Boheim--the crusty captain who lost the wife he always said he hated to cancer. Now he has an anger, almost a vengence, against the crabs they catch.). Plot A story has to have a plot. That is it has to have a beginning that leads the characters into a central conflict. That conflict has a climax and has to be resolved by the characters in the denouement (Captain Boheim arrives at the docks to find three identical boats moored and waiting to be taken out for crab season. He and his crew take one of the boats and set out to sea. The crabbing is good until they bring up one with a big tumor on its back. Boheim goes nuts and begins shooting at it with a rifle which disables the boat just as a storm approaches. While they are stranded and trying to survive in a lifeboat, the storm eventaully gives way to clear skies. That's when Boheim comes to realize while looking at the stars that the crab is a symbol for the sign of cancer in astrology, the sign most associated with nurturing and caring. Eventually, they are rescued by another boat that comes looking for Boheim because he had inadvertently taken out the wrong boat.). Character Arc The main character has to change one way or another. He or she starts out one way and ends up modified in some way because of the events in the story (Boheim comes to find out he actually cared about his wife and she cared about him, and thus loses his anger over the crabs he catches.). Symbolism The artistic use of symbolism is what makes stories truly alive and fascinating (The crabs represent cancer to Boheim, both his wife's and the astrological sign. Astrology represents an unchangable fate. The wrong boat represents a mistaken way of traveling through life.). Moral Every story makes a moral statement whether the artist wants it to or not. You can't resolve a story without making a moral statement. Therefore, one should think about the moral they're trying to impart to the reader so they will end their story apporpriately (The moral of this story is to try to always identify your true feelings.). Okay, Boheim's Crabs, pretty much sucks, but it is a story. It has all the elements of a story. And once those elements are there, a story can be written that will keep the reader engaged, turning pages, and wondering what will happen next, not to mention enlighten them via the moral. Any comments?