Writing Short Stories

Elements of a Short Story

• An original idea
• Believable characters
• A convincing background
• A good opening
• Conflict
• Suspense
• Realistic but interesting dialogue
• A sense of shape
• A satisfying ending

What makes a good story?

1. Effective opening / gets straight in with action or intrigue
2. A hook to get the reader interested
3. Narrative arc / development of plot
4. Character development – interesting, credible characters for reader to empathise with or be fascinated by
5. Sparkling dialogue
6. Drama -‘Drama is just real life without the boring bits’
7. Handling of tension & pace
8. Creative flair / originality / use of imagery (metaphors, symbolism etc)
9. Thought provoking or informative story – a meaning beyond the story or something you remember afterwards.
10. Convincing or memorable ending e.g twist or food for thought
11. Accessibility – can we understand what’s going on?
12. Technical competence