How to Plot a Short Story: 5 Steps for Short Story Plotting

How to Plot a Short Story: 5 Steps for Short Story Plotting

How to Plot a Short Story!!!

Are you struggling to come up with a plot for your short story? Do you find yourself staring at a blank page, unsure of where to begin? Fear not! In this post, we’ll walk you through the five essential steps for plotting a short story. Whether you’re new to writing or looking to refine your skills, these tips will help you create a compelling and engaging narrative that will leave your readers wanting more. So grab your notebook and let’s get started!

How to Plot a Short Story

There’s no one “right” way to plot a short story. However, there are some key steps you can take to ensure that your short story is well-structured and engaging for your readers.

1. Decide on the central conflict of your story. What is the main problem or challenge your protagonist will face? This is the heart of your story, so take some time to brainstorm and develop a strong conflict.

2. Write a brief outline of your story, including the main events you want to include. This doesn’t have to be super detailed – just a basic idea of what will happen in your story.

3. Start writing! Once you have your outline, start fleshing out your story. Don’t worry too much about perfection at this stage – just get your ideas down on paper (or screen). You can always go back and make changes later.

4. Take a break! Once you’ve written the first draft of your story, put it away for a little while. This will help you come back to it with fresh eyes and catch any errors or areas that need further development.

5. Revise and edit your story. This is an important step to ensure that your story is polished and ready for publication (or submission to a contest or literary magazine). Take your time with this process and don’t be afraid to make significant changes if needed.


There are a few key things to consider when brainstorming the plot for your short story. First, think about what kind of story you want to tell. Is it a personal narrative or a fictional tale? Once you’ve decided on the genre, start thinking about the main conflict or issue at the heart of the story. What is the protagonist struggling with? What is at stake if they don’t overcome this challenge?

Next, begin to flesh out the details of the story. Where does it take place? Who are the other characters involved? What scenes will need to be included in order to tell the story effectively? As you’re brainstorming, don’t worry too much about making everything perfect – just get all of your ideas down on paper (or in a computer document). You can always go back and revise later.

Write out the central conflict

The central conflict of a story is the main problem or goal that the protagonist must solve or achieve. Without a central conflict, your story will lack purpose and direction. To plot a short story, start by brainstorming ideas and potential conflicts for your story. Once you have an idea of what you want to write about, flesh out your characters and setting, and then outline the major events of your story.

As you plot your short story, keep in mind the classic storytelling structure of beginning, middle, and end. In the beginning, introduce your reader to your characters and setting. The middle should be the longest section of your story, and it should include the main conflict and events leading up to the climax. Finally, wrap up your story in the end by resolving the conflict and tying up loose ends.

Create a brief outline

1. Start with the basics: a story has one or more protagonists who have a problem or goal, and they must work to solve it within the story’s conflict and timeframe.

2. Build your characters and their world. Who are your protagonists? What do they want? Why can’t they have it? What’s standing in their way?

3. Choose your story’s structure. How will you build tension and conflict throughout your story? Will you use a linear plot line, or something more complex?

4. Plan out your scenes. What needs to happen in each scene to move your plot and characters forward? What can you cut without losing the essence of your story?

5. Write your first draft, then revise as needed. Don’t be afraid to make changes along the way – sometimes the best stories come from making unexpected turns during the writing process!

How to Plot a Short Story

Pick a point of view

There are many different ways to approach plotting a short story. As with any work of fiction, the best way to plot is ultimately whatever works best for you and your writing style. However, there are a few key things to keep in mind no matter what approach you take.

First, you need to decide on a point of view. This will determine how your story is told and who will be telling it. Are you going to use first person, third person, or omniscient point of view? First-person is limited to only what the main character can see and know, while third-person gives you a little more flexibility to move around and show other characters’ thoughts and feelings. An omniscient point of view is when the narrator knows everything about all of the characters, even their thoughts and feelings, but this can be tricky to pull off well.

Once you’ve decided on a point of view, stick with it throughout the story. This will help create consistency and coherence for your readers. If you’re telling the story from multiple points of view, make sure each character has a distinct voice so that readers can easily follow along.

Finally, think about how much information you want to reveal about your characters and their backstory. Too much information can bog down a story, but if you don’t provide enough context, readers may not be able to connect with the characters or fully understand their motivations. Find a balance that works for your story and stick with it.

Read More: How to Write a Horror Story in 5 Steps?

Select the right story structure

One of the most important aspects of plotting a short story is choosing the right story structure. There are many different ways to structure a story, but some are better suited for short stories than others. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a story structure for your plot:

-The Three Act Structure is one of the most popular structures for short stories. It is easy to follow and understand, and it keeps the story focused and concise.

-The Hero’s Journey is another popular structure, especially for stories with a more fantastical or adventurous plot. This structure follows the journey of the main character as they face challenges and overcome obstacles.

-The Monomyth is similar to the Hero’s Journey, but it focuses more on the psychological journey of the character rather than their physical challenges.

-The Snowflake Method is a great way to plot a short story if you want to have a lot of control over your plot and characters. This method involves starting with a basic idea and then fleshing it out with more detail as you go.

Final Notes

The following are final notes to keep in mind when plotting a short story:

– Keep the story focused and avoid subplots that will only serve to complicate matters.

– The climax of the story should be surprising but still believable.

– Though the resolution is not always necessary, it can be satisfying for readers to see characters resolve their issues by the end of the story.

About the author

Johnny is dedicated to providing useful information on commonly asked questions on the internet. He is thankful for your support ♥

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