A short story is a piece of prose, which is less elaborative and focuses directly on the plot of the story

How to write a short story

What is a short story?

A short story is a piece of prose, which is less elaborative and focuses directly on the plot of the story. It quickly brings the attention of the reader to the purpose of the story or moral, if it has to provide. Such short pieces of prose fiction, have limited number of character, in fact, less than a handful. Every character has a brief role, and convey their purpose, accordingly. The climax comes much earlier, and such writings are easy to remember from word to word and scene to scene. Generally, short stories have a word count from 1,000 words to 10,000 or 20,000.

How to write a short story?

Writing a short story

Jot down your focus

A short story focuses directly on the plot, unlike a novel where you can keep twists and turns for later on. You need to know that what you will be focusing on, in your piece of limited prose. It is a perspective or imagery that sets the story in motion, giving it a start and direction. It is what do you want to say? Why did you choose such a subject to write upon and where will it be leading to?

Outline your story

Write down how different events will, one after another, take place in your writing. As it gives a limited scope to express yourself, you cannot get sidetracked or have much scope to manipulate your reader, as you can do for longer pieces of fiction.  Thus, it is helpful to list down the events, characters, and places that will be held one after another.

Outline of story





Shape your characters appropriately

Write your characters as such that the reader can determine, who the protagonist is and who the antagonists are. If you are giving the characters a particular trait, don’t drift away from that trait, as there is a less scope for showcasing the character’s habits, except the protagonist. In a short story, you cannot show a character to be like a lot many things as he wishes to be.

Plot of the story

The plot of the story is the subjective factor of a short prose. You have to focus on what the story is about directly. If it’s a murder mystery that you are writing, you have to be clear and definite about whose murder are you solving in the story.

An engaging opening paragraph

You don’t have to start writing the story-line as soon as you began writing. Instead, you can give an introduction. If you are writing about a person, you can write about the monotonous life of the protagonist before coming to any turning point. No matter what you write and how you write, your opening paragraph should be powerful enough to keep the reader engaged in what you have written.

Organize your thoughts and be concise

It is alright to be flooded with an ocean of ideas that you would want to put down in your work, but it is not possible and neither advisable to put every detail and thought that comes into your mind, into your short story. You don’t want your brilliant piece to be crowded with unnecessary details, which you can even ignore for once when writing novels. Know that you have to stick to your word limit and write brief details and a crisp matter.

Revising your piece

You may find many errors after you’re done writing. You may not find the result as you had expected it to be. But that is perfectly fine. What you wrote for the first time was a mere draft. Peer on which areas can you improve and which areas of your story give exposure to writing more. Give your story a catchy headline and write a climax as interesting as your opening paragraph.


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