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How to Write a Short Story

A short story is a great way to try your hand at creative writing. These steps will help you to write a short story that expresses your unique point of view.


  • Step 1: Brainstorm Come up with an idea for a story. Start with what you know; then move to what you don't know to draw inspiration.
  • TIP: Read as many short stories as you can to get a feel for the style.
  • Step 2: Outline Gather your thoughts and write an outline. Develop your protagonist, or main character. Determine who you are writing about and how you want to tell their story.
  • Step 3: Write Write your story either on paper or using a computer. Create a problem that your protagonist has to solve. This problem may be internal or external.
  • Step 4: Add detail Add details so that your story is one your readers care about. Use vivid descriptions.
  • TIP: Bring a notebook with you everywhere you go so you can write down ideas as they come to you.
  • Step 5: Resolve Include events that lead to a resolution of the problem. Resolve the story and enjoy the output of your creative energy.
  • FACT: Did you know? Master storyteller Edgar Allen Poe's first short story, "Metzengerstein," was published in the Philadelphia Saturday Courier in 1832.

You Will Need

  • Idea
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Computer (optional)
  • Notebook (optional)

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