Writing and Speaking

How to write more engaging short stories?

So you’ve got one or two short stories under your belt. You think your writing is pretty good, but no one seems to be reading them. No matter how many times you try to get someone to read it, they don’t seem interested? How do you take that next step forward and write engaging short stories people want to read?

If you want people to read your short stories, you must follow the article for a complete guide on short story writing strategies. So, let’s get started.

What is a Short story?

Short stories are unlike novels or poems that come without a word range or can be summarized into short lines (word choice), respectively. But, they come with a maximum word range varying on the shape & size of your story and are much more concise than the novels, with a vast back story and emotions, unlike most poems.


  1. Traditional short stories: 5,000-10,000
  2. Sudden fiction/flash fiction: 6 words to 500 words
  3. Mirror fiction: 300 words or less


A short story is a type of fiction art curated in writing for primarily the younger generations. However, with this continuous popularity of short stories on every level, it’s no surprise that they’ve found their way into young adults’ lives.


How to write a short story?

Planning to write a short story doesn’t come at once. There are several steps and rules you must follow to curate engaging content. Firstly, you must have a short story idea to get started.


How do come up with short story ideas?


Start with the basics: 

Many fiction stories start with a memory of a person, place, thing, or an incident, conflict, or a gift which can resonate to the reader’s mind and create curiosity to find out what would happen next.


Create fictional characters from the people: 

Human beings are easy to replicate in stories or at least for the ideas. You don’t have to copy their exact personality in your story but make a few changes like their habits, looks, dressing style, age, and voice. Mix match the way you want and create a character of your own for your storyline.


Think about an incident: 

generating stories out of real-life incidents is the easiest and the most engaging for the readers. You may think about any event from your past, lessons you learned from an incident, bad choices that unexpectedly gave excellent results, or when your personal life.

Take an interview/talk to a stranger: 

the epic stories are found on the streets! Walk up to people you have known for years but never share a conversation or interview with a stranger. Learn about their lives, lessons, and how they earn or talk about their feelings about life.

Write down your ideas: 

Start writing the ideas that come to your mind. Even if it’s just a little info, write it down. Later, you can jog between all the ideas/topics and create an excellent plot for your short story.

How to plot a short story?

After you have enough short stories writing ideas, begin with the next step, plotting.


  1. Start with a gripping title-Titles can be a question or reflect a tone of a certain emotion
  2. Give a brief outline about the surrounding, people, and the time
  3. Write about the foundation of your main character (don’t elaborate)
  4. Stick with your story’s genre (that’s how you keep hold of the reader’s focus until the end)
  5. Introduce an expected situation/person
  6. Target emotions-Happiness/Hopelessness/Love/Sacrifice/Trouble/Failure/Optimism
  7. Be narrative or write down pivotal moments
  8. End with a moral 

Things to keep in mind while writing a short story

Approximately 2,700 books are published every day, with less than 250 copies sold each day on an average. Therefore, if you have a short story to write with the least possibility of standing out from the rest, it is wise to publish it later. And meanwhile, work on making it one of the best-selling stories.

However, here are a few things you can keep in mind while writing stories that stand out:

  1. Stay within your word limit
  2. Make it more engaging by introducing emotional aspects
  3. Don’t elaborate on the storyline
  4. Focus on your protagonist the most and then the supporting character
  5. Let your main character be engaging with an emotional background

Hence, the journey from a young writer to a published one is not easy. To enhance your skills and produce dramatic literature for teens, keep the short story writing tips in consideration. And focus on your reader’s interest and passion for short stories. For a reference check, visit Rose On The Horizon. The site belongs to an emerging writer that has been successfully curating engaging articles, blogs, creative writings, and more.

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