Short Stories

Forums Fiction Plotting Short Stories

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    Hey all! I’m looking into writing more short stories, esp. for anthologies. I’m curious to hear about how you all plot short stories. I’m mostly familiar with plotting novels using the three-act structure. Do short stories follow this same pattern, just condensed? Or is there a different plot structure/pattern I should be looking at? Any and all resources greatly appreciated!


    (For reference, the short story I’m looking to write will be between 1k and 10k words)


    Avenser and word addict. Full of sugar, spice, and snarkasm.

    Daeus Lamb

    @gabrielle Yes, short stories normally follow the standard three act structure. Occasionally, however, you will have exceptions, like in a work of flash fiction which is too short to include the whole detailed structure.

    👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢

    Buddy J.


    Short stories… Okay, the short stories I write tend to be about 1300-1500 words, and what I’ve found is you don’t want to try and cover a whole lot of time with them. When writing at 1500 words, you are there for the day, maybe two (in story). If you try to do more, I think the story seems to get weak.

    Published author, reader of many books, Student in writing, and Lumenite!


    @gabrielle I have such a difficult time with short cause I’m kind of long-winded sometimes. Also, I really love the in-depth world building and character development over time in stories. Because of this, many of my short stories turn into excerpts XD

    I don’t suppose I structure my plots any differently than I do for my longer works. I mean, they’re not as in-depth, clearly, but I don’t really have a rigid plot-structuring routine as it is. I do plan things out, but there isn’t a similar format for each plot if that makes sense. I write the stories that stem from the ideas I have and each is unique in it’s length, structure, and format.

    Well…I’m a lot of help *she says sarcastically* Sorry!



    Nearly all my short stories get to around 10,000. Somehow I just can’t write short.

    Your story is yours and no one else's. Each sunset is different, depending where you stand. -A. Peterson


    When I’m writing short stories, (which tend to be 2,000 to 4,000 words) I usually sketch my plots out on Freytag’s Pyramid. If you don’t know what that is, I would look it up. 🙂

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