10 Proven Steps to Write a Short Story

Writing a story is an art, and not everyone can craft it beautifully. As you advance as a writer, mastering even a handful of the elements of fiction will prove to be swift victories for you.

There are some significant differences between writing a short essay or story and a novel. It involves less capacity for character development, less place for extensive conversation, and frequently a stronger emphasis on a twist.

How to write a short story in 10 proven steps

The 10 proven steps to write a short story are:

1. Read and Explore

Watch, assess, and study the professionals’ work before attempting to imitate it. You will quickly acquire sufficient knowledge of short story writing techniques to begin creating your unique style. Many of the necessary skills can be picked up by osmosis.

Reading two or three short stories gives you a sense of their organization and style. That ought to motivate you to attempt your own reading while reading many more. There are plenty of online sources where you can explore lots of informative stuff.

2. Keep the Pace Going

Short stories need to move quickly. The tempo typically quickens as the hero gets closer to the decisive battle. A short narrative must get off to a fast start and plunge the reader into the action from page one because it usually begins close to the final confrontation.

The concept or image propelling your short tale is the scene. Your story’s focal point is important. Do you have something to say? Why specifically write a short tale about this topic?

3. Use Effective Dialogue

Because a short story must have a rapid finish, don’t spend too much time setting the scene. The characters and story can come to life through effective conversation. Give the characters in a scene a task to complete, like washing dishes.

However, pay attention to the dialogue later to move the plot and introduce conflict. Nothing creates drama more effectively than well-written dialogue. Always make an effort to read your dialogue aloud.

4. Start As Near to the Conclusion As You Can

Newspaper articles typically start as near the story’s beginning as possible. Why? Because letting the reader know the specifics up front is one method to choose if they want to continue reading or not.

Effective short story writers also do this, honing their beginning sentences and paragraphs to make sure readers have hooked right away and continue reading. So, immediately draw the reader into your story as it develops. Make the storyline clear.

5. Use Less Characters in the Story

A short narrative makes it challenging to build a vast cast of characters properly, and it is challenging for readers to keep track of them. Three characters are all that is required for a short story: the protagonist, the antagonist, and the wrench or relationship character.

There must be someone for the reader to root for, someone to despise, and occasionally even someone who advances the character development of the protagonist or antagonist. Even one character can be present in a short story.

6. Give the Reader a Cause to Support

Once more, every story needs a protagonist. A few techniques might be used to increase the reader’s sense of connection to your protagonist. Your primary character should have a passion that the reader might possibly relate to. Give your character the resolve to venture outside of their comfort zone.

Give your character a flaw that they can only reveal to the reader. Another effective strategy is to provide a window into your character’s mind. This will give your character a genuine feeling, enticing the reader.

7. Create an Argument

Every single conflict in a short story must be the main emphasis. A short narrative typically just requires one. The protagonist should have some sort of decision-making process or difficulty. There should be a healthy amount of tension surrounding that issue. Readers are kept interested and invested in your story through conflict and tension.

According to Kurt Vonnegut, writers ought to be sadists. Make your major characters experience awful things to demonstrate to readers their character. There is never too much tension in a short story.

8. Engage all Five Senses

Don’t limit your viewers to just experiencing your narrative visually. You may transport them into your world by allowing them to touch, smell, taste, and hear. The popular phrase that says “Show, don’t tell” applies to this.

Encourage your readers to experience all your world has to offer, just as if they were there in person. Use an impactful speech to beautify your expression. The reader should be influenced by your story and find reading pleasurable.

9. Set a Powerful Climax and Resolution

In both long and short literature, the climax is essential. In short tales, the climax aids in giving the plot direction and focus, whereas a novel can meander more. Many authors of short stories have preferred an ending that twists the plot.

A dramatic climax may be interesting. For example, an explosive clash that appeared imminent from the first page or the reader’s instant realization that a character was lying. There are numerous effective methods to wrap up a brief story.

10. Proofread Your Work

No matter how brilliant a writer feels their work is, there is always room for improvement. Being a tough editor is essential for becoming a competent writer. Always proofread your work. You can review it by yourself or ask for help from an expert. Eliminate overused words. Remove any extraneous adjectives and adverbs.

The backstory should be examined at this point to determine how much of it is essential to the plot. Remember that just because a story is brief doesn’t automatically make it simpler to write.


Follow the tips mentioned above to craft an amazing story and make it worth the read. You will be able to connect with the reader in an effective manner.

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