Everybody loves short stories. My guess is that the reason for that is the fact that these stories are not very long. If you are thinking about writing your own short story, you need a plan.
How should you plan out a short story? Simply follow these steps:
1. What About The Plot Of The Short Story?
What is a story without its plot? You’re right if you say nothing. This is the obvious answer as no story is complete without a plot. So, how do you decide on a plot? You need to have three things in mind. These are a beginning, a middle and an end. With these, you can build the events of your story, making it into a fully realized series of events .
If you’re having trouble coming up with a structure for your story, let’s go through an example of a storyline that has the above three components.
We’ll be using the ant story as an example. First of all, the beginning of the story would be where the ants are just waking up, venturing into their positions inside the cave before being assigned on the day’s task, picking up the food stationed by the patio. Now, the middle of the storyline would be the tribulations that the characters face whilst on their journey, such as trying not to be squashed by humans and warding off enemy insects.
The end will be them succeeding in their hardships and getting their reward back home safely.
Now, this is a great story but would be quite boring to read. If you have your basic storyline in mind, you need to know how to jazz it up. In this story, we would write about the ants having human personalities, personifying them and giving them the ability to speak. Thus, you’d be writing from the point of view of the creatures which would end up being a story that is quite peculiar.
In general, you could include a conflict or a twist that could befall your characters. This will be sure to entertain your reader and keep them on their feet. Like what? If you have a villain in your story, reveal who they are right at the end, so the reader would never suspect them.
2. What About The Characters Of Your Story?
The characters are possibly the most important part of any story, other than the plot, of course. You can have as many characters as you want, but remember to have a main character, and at least a few side characters.
You have to give each of your characters a specific personality as, without it, your readers won’t fall in love with the story as they don’t share a connection with anyone!
If you want you can even have only one character in your story.
3. What About The Setting Of The Story?
Now that you have the basic plot of your story covered, all you need to do is to create the setting. You need to first decide on the genre of your story as this will help with creating the setting as you know what tone you should go for.
If you nail the setting, your story will most likely be quite good. So, how exactly are you supposed to do this? It’s easy, and should be obvious from the moment the story begins.
First of all, let’s use the above ant story as an example. If you decide to make the story dramatic, you could work the setting out as follows.
You can make the ants’ cave seem dark and gloomy, and when they go outside and venture into the garden, make it seem cold and uninviting as if it rained all day. But, if you were looking to make it into a lighthearted piece of writing, you would want to describe the garden as buzzing with life and full of sunshine, and the ant’s cave energetic with workers.
As you may have noticed, the above is done through the use of adjectives. With a great set of adjectives in your tool belt, you can manipulate any scenery to your will. So, get reading! Refer to a thesaurus if you want to make your short story great.
The word count is also important. Don’t make it too long (or too short).