January 08, 2013

How To Write A Short Story

For a short story, there is still a beginning, middle, and end. Just because it’s short doesn’t mean you have the excuse to avoid the middle of the story and jump right to the climax. Actually, there is no excuse for it ever. But instead of a list of events that make up the plot, all you really need is a single event. Or a couple.

The beginning of a short story introduces the characters, reveals the setting, and immediately gets into what is supposed to happen. A small event in the beginning can lead to the one big event and the climax.

For Example: A romance story can begin with the main character meeting someone. They go out on a date, have a good time, and then get in a car accident. The car accident can be the big event and climax can be tragic or happy. It’s your story, short or otherwise, so you get to decide what happens.
If you’re still not sure, the best thing to do is read (and study) short stories by different authors. The next best thing is just to write. Give it a shot, even if you’re unsure. It may not be perfect the first time around, and that is normal. Writers write, and they rewrite more than they care to admit. Go beyond the third draft until you have a short story you are proud of. No one is counting. Only you will know how many tries it took.

But it will get easier. After I wrote my first short story, I started to get ideas for other short stories. Now I have a small collection, and so could you.

All you have to do is try.

All you have to do is WRITE!

SHARE: Your tips to writing short stories.


  1. To make a long story short (no pun intended!), I have always thought that in a novel, the main character has to go through some sort of significant change, while in a short story, that is not always the case. Short story writing is an art unto itself and worth exploring further!