In a novel, theatrical script, screenplay, sketch stories, and poetry, a vignette (, also ) is a short impressionistic scene that focuses on one moment or character and gives a trenchant impression about that character, an idea, setting, and/or object. It is a short, descriptive passage, more about evoking meaning through imagery than about plot.
A blog or web series can also provide a form of vignette or be presented as a series of vignettes. An example of this is the critically acclaimed web series High Maintenance, which presents a different set of characters in each episode, focusing intensely on their specific traits, ideas, and worlds.
Vignettes are more commonly used and have been particularly influential in the development of the contemporary notions of a scene as shown in postmodern theater, film and television, where less emphasis is placed on adhering to the conventions of traditional structure and story development. It is also a part of something bigger than itself: for example, a vignette about a house belonging to a collection of vignettes or a whole story, such as The House On Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros.
The word vignette means "little vine" in French, and the name of the literary form comes from vignettes, drawings of little vines that nineteenth-century printers used to decorate the title pages and beginnings of chapters.