Short Story Ideas – Beginners Writing Advice

Short Stories

6 most compelling short story ideas. The best way to write them.

Ideas for writing short stories in your favourite genre are plenty. Knowing where to start from can be challenging. To bring it closer home let’s say you want to cook a perfect dish. The first thing you would do is to gather all the necessary ingredients. The next crucial step is to follow the recipe closely. Similarly, the same applies to the process of writing good short stories. 

You may start off not so good or not on the same level as highly experienced writers, which comes by years of practice, but certainly, you can write well-making use of the right short story ideas. 


Well written short stories are technically competent and carry all the right ingredients in the correct amounts and the right order. In this post, I will walk you through the process of writing good short stories. 


Short Story definition

A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a “single effect” or mood, however, there are many exceptions to this. 


Writing Romantic Short Stories


Ideas for Writing Romantic Short Stories
Writing romantic short stories is a route you can explore. There are great romance stories out there that have not yet been written.

What quickly comes to mind is the beauty and the beast story. It is a powerful story that has been told and retold in different ways. It shows the powerful myth of tenderness concealed within the ugliness found in people. 


What Every Relevant Story Should Have? 


(1) Single narrative thread. 

Usually, short stories are column fillers in publications like newspapers or magazines. Thus, the space allocated for them is limited. At the most, the length should be around 850 words. You can’t afford to explore the stories of several characters or different environments because space is not enough. Stick to one storyline and don’t deviate from it.

The moment you start looking at the lives of all the characters in the story other than the main character, you are now writing a novel. Anything that exceeds 4,000 words is difficult to sell because it regarded as a novella. 


(2) Every story must have an introduction, body and conclusion. 

Let’s begin with the basics. What exactly is expected in a story? Learning to write properly is important for all writers. This is why iit’simportant to start from the grass-root level or with the basics. Every short story should have a clear beginning, middle and ending. We normally refer to these 3 as the introduction, body and conclusion. These three components should be craftily written in a way that integrates so that each part fits snugly with the others. 

Knowing where to begin matters. Its key to keep your audience captivated from start to finish. The beginning and the ending are important aspects of storytelling. The opening paragraph should be written in a way that captures the reader’s imagination that encourages them to read more. 


You can begin your story in many ways. for example, with a  setting, character description, action, a statement, an idea, or posing a question.

William Shakespeare is a famous English playwright and poet. His works are considered among the greatest in the history of English literature. Shakespeare understood the concept of writing an opening paragraph and we can learn a lot from him. The power of his writing could capture a reader’s imagination. 

In sooth, I know not why I am so sad:It wearies me; your say it wearies your;But how I caught it, found it, or came by it, What stuff ‘its made of, whereof it is born, I am to learn;And such a want-wit sadness makes of me, That I have much ado to know myself. It is unclear exactly what mad Antonio sad.

Quoted from Merchant of Venice


(3) A short timescale 

Bearing in mind that a short story is like a snapshot, its role is to examine how a character deals with events of a particular situation. Unlike a life story characterised by a character study involving various adventures, a short story is highly focused. What happens is in a matter of a few hours.  

So, stick to brief descriptions and avoid showing off your descriptive skills. Only give the background that is relevant to the plot. However, aim to strike a balance between keeping information tight and giving enough facts about a character so that the reader can visualise him. 


(4) Use a few characters 

For a magazine short story, two is an ideal number of characters you can use for dialogue as they talk and react to each other. 


Don’t waste time with an unnecessary description of the weather or the environment where the story took place, it weakens your story in relation to grabbing the reader’s attention.

Get into the plot at the word go and also end your story after the main character’s crisis is resolved. 


(5) Write from a single viewpoint 

Remember to write what happens from a single viewpoint, with the reader imagining himself as the hero. Put your main character on the spot.

(6) Resolving conflict

The character resolving his own conflicts. Good fiction is about how human beings react to challenge. Ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Make your main character solve his own problems, especially if it forces him to be ingenious and overcome some of his fears. 


The Benefits of Short Stories

We all benefit from short stories, young people and older people alike. It depends on the angle stories are written. For children, stories are usually used for teaching them some valuable lessons of life. When they grow up they can always reflect on the lessons learned. 

For adults, humour stories are good for entertainment purposes. 


Writing for the short story market

The short story market usually demands tight word counts from the writer. Weekly or monthly magazines are a lucrative source to sell your short stories. These short stories are paid per word.


For any short story submitted, it is important to do a word count in order to meet the required number of words for magazine editors. 

If you have any questions in relation to my post, 8 Short Story Ideas And Tips, please leave them below. I will respond to your as sew as I can.





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