Writing a Short Story


There is a discipline to the writing of a short story, but how many novice writers either don’t realise it or simply don’t care?

The following three graphics provide the guidelines I put together and used prior to moving onto writing novels.

Did those guidelines work?

I’ve won competitions with stories by adhering to the following rules, so I’ll let you make up your own mind.Short Story 1 of 3.jpeg

Short Story 3 of 3.jpegShort Story 2 of 3.jpeg

Could there be anything else?

Yes, and it’s very important.

Just like any other type of writing – do not accept your first draft as the final draft. I’ve found that the best practice is:

1. Get the initial idea written and then do a quick edit.

2. Leave it aside for at least a week, or longer if possible.

3. Bring it out and have a close look at it, and if possible, print the story and read it aloud.

4. Edit and then leave it aside again, for a week or more.

5. To put it in a planning perspective, if it was now March 1st and I was entering a story into a competition for 31st May, I would write the first draft by mid-March. I would then leave it aside the first time for about a week. Before the second draft, I’d leave it aside for about two weeks and then for each draft afterwards, at least two weeks each time.

There is one very important aspect to entering competitions which is common to all of them.

Read the rules and follow the instructions word for word.

My page about Competition Writing supports this item.


One thought on “Writing a Short Story”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Enjoy The Visit

Author Theresa Jacobs

Blog Stories Books

Writing to be Read

Author's Blog - Book Reviews, Author Profiles and Reflections on Writing

Tom Benson - Artist

Before there was photography ...

Rebecca Bryn

Author and artist

Sarah Stuart - Romantic Suspense

Award-winning writing that pushes the boundaries

Frank Parker's author site

A Septuagenarian's ramblings

Lucinda E. Clarke - Author

Adventures in Africa and other places

Andrew Updegrove: Tales of Adversego

One author's exploration of the evolving self-publishing labyrinth

authordesignstudio's Blog

A great WordPress.com site

Ra Winter Writer

Native American Romance Writer, Urban lit, Romance, Fantasy

Indie Lifer

News and rants on publishing, health, and spiritual stuff.


Reviews & More


My interviews with many authors

The Quill Pen Writes

Latest work releases, preview cover designs and reviews of other authors

Lesley Hayes

The Lesley Hayes Blog

The Last Krystallos

Its those silly dreams that keep us alive...

lucinda E Clarke

My blog - My books - and other interesting stuff about my adventures

Eric Lahti

Livin' the Henchlife

Nikki McDonagh - author and photographer

A look at writing, publishing and photography

Vagina Antics

A sometimes sweet, always naughty sex blog


fiction and other writing

shehanne moore

Smexy Historical Romance

Maxpower's Blog

Books and writing

Indie author support & Discussion

We welcome readers and writers and aim to provide a wide selection of reading and resource material

Princess of Dragons

A world of imagination, writing and dragons

Damyanti Biswas

For lovers of reading, writing, travel, humanity

Writing - Beginning and Beyond

Where I've been, where I'm at, and where I want to go with writing...

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: