How To Write Short Stories – Part Four – Plotting Your Short Story

If you have missed my previous parts the content is as follows –

Part One – General outline of what a short story entails

Part Two – How to get inspiration for your short story

Part Three – Characters

This part is on how to plot your short story.

The trick is to grab the reader from the beginning, starting with an initial idea then to develop it further adding a twist as you go along. Here are a few methods of how to plot your short stories in a more structured way. Remember different ways work for different people so it is better to find out which one suits you best.

–          Represent different characters on different coloured paper. At the top of the page write the character’s name and write underneath what they are like, their involvement in the story then what will happen to them as the plot unfolds. This way is good as it helps keep the characters separate so you do not get them confused with each other!

–          Use a whiteboard. This is so useful because you can add things or erase things as and when you please. You can make bullet points about what will happen or even do mind maps (where you put one key word in the middle and branch off that with other ideas).

–          Bullet points. Write down the events in an organised list. This way is really helpful as you have the skeleton of your story in front of you all you have to do is write around it!

Important Things to remember…

–          Get the right pace. In your story you want a mixture of calm, reflective moments and fast paced, action packed moments. Make sure you find the right balance because too much calm could be boring for the reader and too much action could bamboozle the reader.

–          Make sure ‘something’ interesting happens every 4-5 paragraphs for example a decision, a change of scenery, meeting a new character etc.

–          Always always always read your work! Reading it out loud to somebody helps you to pick up on mistakes you have not seen before.

Hope you enjoyed part four of my short story tutorials, part five will be on VIEWPOINT so make sure to look out for it in the next few days!

Sophie Chekruga 🙂


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