5 Things You Should Know Before Writing a

Short Story

writing a short story


To be able to write a great short story is one of the key signs that you are a competent writer. Some people disregard short story writing, and consider writing a novel as a true sign of writing capability. However, writing a short story is more challenging than you would expect. So if you are going to write a short story of your very own, you should make sure you know what you are doing.

Here are 5 Things you should know before writing a short story.


1. How long is a short story?

Before you get started on your short story you should first know how long the standard short story is. The standard short story is technically any written work that is under 10,000 words. If you go past the ten thousand word mark, then you’re no longer writing a short story. You are technically writing a novelette or a novel instead.


2. Choose a key concept

It is imperative that you identify the key concept of your short story. You will need a core concept because your entire story will revolve around it. The key concept can be revenge, redemption, forbidden love, etc. Your key concept could be practically anything, just as long as you can infuse it to every aspect of your short story.


3. Your characters are key

When it comes to writing a story, your characters are always key. Remember that the story will mostly be centered on your characters. All the events, conflicts and realizations will predominantly happen to them. So you should take the time to carefully craft your characters. Give them key traits that will make them stand out. You should also make them relatable, that way your readers will grow to like them.

Remember that short stories are nowhere near as long as novelettes or full novels, so you should not make too many characters. When you write a character, you should have a specific role for them. Don’t just create characters to fill out your story. This will only make your characters seem cheap and hollow. It will also make your plotline too convoluted. So when you create your characters, they should have a set purpose.


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4. Create a memorable setting

Aside from your characters, you should also create a memorable setting. What’s the use of creating a great cast of characters if they are thrust into badly written settings? Remember that the characters and the setting must work hand in hand to create a truly great story.

When you write your settings, they should be as detailed as possible. The readers should be able to truly envision the place and the events taking place. When you put your characters into the settings, it should be as organic as possible. Don’t just drop them into the setting without any warning, because it will just seem too orchestrated to readers. Overall, your setting should have the ability to bridge the gap between different aspects of your short story.


5. Have your work edited

Although short stories are not as long as full-sized novels, you should still make sure that your work is of the best quality possible. Whether you post it through your author blog or publish it as part of an anthology of short stories, your work will still be scrutinized. This means that readers of all ages and reading comprehension will be your critics. They will pick apart your work, and if there are any mistakes, they will surely notice. So when it comes to having your work checked for errors, you should reach out to a professional. It can be a bit pricey to have an editor look through your work, but if you want your work to turn out in the best condition possible you will have to invest in a professional.



Although some people don’t consider a short story worth writing, it is in truth indicative of your skills as a writer. How are you supposed to write a great novel if you can’t write a passable short story? Luckily by knowing these essential concepts, you’ll be able to create a great short story of your own.

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