Tips for Writing a Short Story

by Samantha Sutch, Age 21, Canada


There are many elements that you have to consider when writing a short story. Deciding on what to write about can be a very difficult task, especially for new writers. My advice to any young writer would be to start with the genre. Do you want your story to be an adventure, a fairy tale, realistic, romantic, suspenseful, epistolary (a letter format), or comedic etc? Once you’ve chosen your genre, then you can focus on the other elements such as characterization, setting, plot, themes, and so on.

These elements are very conventional, and simply mentioning them doesn’t help a young writer. I won’t go in depth with definitions, but I will share my ideas on characters, plot, and setting.

The characters are what make the story interesting. You can have an outstanding setting choice, but if your characters are dull your story will be dull. The characters keep your story moving so you want them to be appealing. It would also be a good idea to make your characters relatable too, on some level. Make them believable.

Believability aside, predictability isn’t a good feature in a story; you want to keep your audience guessing and eager to read on. This is why it’s always good to come up with your own ideas. Create something new and have fun with it!

Finally, sometimes it’s the simple stories that resonate best with the audience. Simple settings, with average characters who create and have meaningful experiences can go a long way. Even if the characters are just ordinary, their experiences can be the excitement that keeps the readers attention.


Samantha Sutch is a 21 year old Canadian writer. Samantha says, “Going into university, I originally wanted to one day become a teacher. Getting closer to the end of my education, I’m glad I decided to take a double major because I have made writing my new life goal! I would one day love to become a children’s storybook author, or young adult novel writer.”


2 comments on “Tips for Writing a Short Story

  1. christine

    Good advice. I will pass this on to the young writers in my classroom.

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