Short Story Structure

I have been wanting to write short stories again for a while now. I wrote several when I was in school either as assignments or just because I wanted to.

Short stories are fun to write and can help complement a longer story line, such as that of a novel or novel series. I have been playing with the idea of writing short stories taking place in the world of Arion to bring some background for supporting characters and lore. So I noted down some ideas and researched to help me keep my train of thought on track.

A story should have 5 elements: Setting, Characters, Plot/story line, Theme and Style. The structure of the story should have 5 acts: Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action and Resolution. Before I begin writing my short story, I note these details on a spreadsheet. This will help minimize how often I have to go back and revise, much like I learned with The Snowflake Method for writing novels.

Here are three sites I found helpful:

Teaching Short Story contains a set of slides that explain the elements and structure of a short story. This is where the image at the bottom originated from.

Teaching the Short Story also contains slides with similar explanations as well as points for different genres.

5 Rules to Writing a Great Short Story are a set of tips and tricks to help answer some of questions such as “how long should it be?” or “how much should it cover?”

There is a lot of information out there. If you are interested in writing a  short story yourself, keep looking for as much information as you need.

Happy writing!

Structure of a Story (from Teaching Short Story)

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