"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vignette in Literature

Vignette is not a term I remember ever hearing in school. I learned about them through writer’s groups and conferences. A vignette is a short, well written scene. It does not have a plot, but it does reveal something about the elements in it. It may reveal character, mood or tone. It may have a theme or idea of its own the author wants to convey. It is the description of the scene or character that is important. A blog or diary entry can be considered a vignette.

Wikipedia describes a vignette as “a short impressionistic scene that focuses on one moment or gives a trenchant impression about a character, an idea, or a setting and sometimes an object. This type of scene is more common in recent postmodern theater, where less emphasis is placed on adhering to the conventions of theatrical structure and story development. Vignettes have been particularly influenced by contemporary notions of a scene as shown in film, video and television scripting.”
Try this Vignette writing exercise. http://www.ehow.com/how_2060077_write-vignette.html
Samples: http://www.sffworld.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-7740.html                             
Please feel free to share your own Vignette’s or links to more information about them.

Side note: A special thank you to Aimee  for awarding me this "Versatile Blogger" Award.  I would like to pass this to the first seven people who are interested. Simply leave a comment telling me you have accepted it and a link to your site. Happy Writing!


Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

Hi Sylvia, thanks for stopping by my blog. I plan to finish up the trial post today with V is for Verdict - stop by later! Vignette is a great V word - my husband also uses it in connection with his artwork to describe a scene that is just a small part of a larger scene - focusing in on one element of a scene - like painting people sitting on a park bench instead of painting the whole park. Often it has an unfinished look. Look forward to reading more of you

Golden To Silver Val said...

Thank you for visiting me and for your comment. I've always wondered about "cry uncle" and now I know! Thank you again!! I love to write but, unfortunately I can't just do it...I have to be in the "mood" in order to write something from the heart. I did do a few "vignettes" in response to Magpie pictures and seemed to be well-received. When you have some time, I'd love to know what you think. Go here:


I have you bookmarked and I hope to see you again soon.

Jenny said...

I didn't know vignette had a literary meaning until college. I used it as a style in photography/art in high school and college before knowing it's writing related definition. Love your blog!

Linda H. said...

Haha. I see your post and am thinking in German, which doesn't make any sense at all. A vignette in Germany is a sticker you put on your car so you can drive on certain roads (in Switzerland, Austria). I never knew it had a literay meaning. So, once again, you have taught me something. Yep...you rock, Sylvia!

the writing pad said...

Always associated vignettes with paintings until I saw a writing competition, a while back, for vignettes. Comp now closed but thanks for reminder about this intriguing story type!

Sarah Allen said...

Great V word, and great examples. Thanks for sharing!

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Madeleine said...

Congrats on your award. Ah yes i had heard of vignettes before. Good V post :O)

Carrie said...

Thanks for these examples. I took a short essay class last year and I feel like some of the shorter things we did were like vignettes.

Word in the Hand said...

Thanks for calling by my blog Sylvia - I guess a lot of good posts are like vignettes, letting others catch a glimpse of what we are about?

Beverly Diehl said...

Thanks for stopping by me - now that I see what good stuff you have here, I'm following and shall be back!

Michelle Teacress said...

Hi, Sylvia.
I've heard of a vignette, but was unsure of its meaning. Thank you for the info, and for coming by my blog. It's nice to 'meet' you. :)

Josh Hoyt said...

Congrats on the award. Great info.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Thanks for that explanation. I'll be using this element in my plays.

Renae said...

What a great V word and I loved the examples!

Plain Jane said...

Vignette to me was always about music. I suppose the definition could apply to any art form.

Melissa Bradley said...

I love vignettes, but they can be very difficult to write. You have to pack so much into a very small length. I have read some brilliant ones and think that if one learns to write them, one will tighten up their writing and give it more punch. thanks for the links and congratulations on the award. :)

Valerie Ipson said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! Sorry I didn't have something exciting for the letter V!

We have a lot in common...I'm from Texas, I love To Kill a Mockingbird and anything with Cary Grant, too!

EmptyNester said...

I am enjoying your blog--I'm going to be looking around, hope that's ok! I want to catch up on your A-Z posts!

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