forum Plotting Short Stories
Started by @a_world_with_octobers group

people_alt 61 followers

@a_world_with_octobers group

Does anyone have any simple plot-templates for short stories? Or even just a list of story beats that an effective short story usually hits? There's tons of these for longer works but less so for shorter ones. I guess this is because short stories can take many forms but if you have anything you think would help, I'd love to check it out.

I want to try my hand at some shorter stories so I can get more practice developing characters, working with plots and getting the feel of storytelling, without the daunting shadow of a novel looming over me :)

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

If you're still interested:

The elements of a short story are much the same as a long novel, just condensed. So the typical Exposition->Rising Action->Climax->Falling Action->Resolution still works, but you have to think shorter. The conflict that leads to Rising Action, for instance, may be included in the Exposition. The Climax may also be the Resolution, with no Falling Action at all. Take any story by O'Henry, for example. He was the master of the short story. His stories often would give the reader the situation in a brief paragraph, and then the build of suspense over how the tense situation would resolve. That's Exposition and Rising Action rolled into one long section. Then, the stories often featured a shocking twist, and then they were done. The Climax and Resolution all rolled into that twist, leaving the reader going =O "WHAT?!". If you haven't read any of his stuff, has some. "After Twenty Years", "The Gift the Magi", and "The Ransom of Red Chief" are all good examples. One is suspense-filled, one is hilarious, and one is heart-wrenching. I'll let you figure out which is which. "Miss Hinch" is another good one, by H.S. Harrison. And all of them largely feature the Climax as the endpoint. This can be an easy way to write if you're just figuring out your style. Think of it as going out with a Bang.
Just some thoughts :)