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Elements of a Short Story

by | Nov 2, 2015 | Tips For Writers

The Elements Of A Short Story

Whether you are a newbie writer or a seasoned writer, you may be thinking about writing a short story. Short stories are a great way to practice and hone your writing skills. If this is your first time writing a short story, you need to know what the elements of a short story are. These elements will help you stay focused and keep this shorter style of writing interesting for you and your readers. Condensing all the information you want to write can be difficult if you don’t utilize these elements of a short story. Luckily, as a writing coach, I am here to help you with that!


The most important elements of a short story are: character, setting, conflict, plot, and theme. If you can learn to combine all five of these elements, you’ll have written a great short story. Character is an obvious element. You want to create a believable character in a short number of pages that takes part in the action of your short story. You’ll want to pick a setting—nothing too vast since it is a short story—and use descriptive language to give your readers a sense of being there. The conflict is one of the main parts of any story. You have to create a struggle between your main character and an opposing force. This force can be another character, nature, society, or even your own character’s mind. The plot is, of course, the series of events in your short story taking your readers from the beginning to the end. Finally, the theme of your short story is the central idea or belief expressed through all the other elements of a short story.


What Makes the Elements of a Short Story Different From Other Types of Writing?


Elements of a short story are different than when you are writing a longer book because you have to condense everything you want to put into your writing. Flushing out your plot and making your theme strong can be difficult with short stories, but if you focus and use all the elements, you can create a deep and meaningful work of writing.

Need help honing in on the elements of a short story?

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