To write your fictional short story, just follow these four, easy steps:
STEP ONE: Establish setting, characters and theme. In your first 2-3 sentences, tell the reader the who and why of your story. Tell your reader who she is rooting for and why she needs to care about this character.
Like this: I never liked the rain. I love to explore and when it rains, I don’t feel like doing the one thing that makes me, Abby the Curious, as my mom calls me, happy.
STEP TWO: Create tension, conflict or plot. In these next 2-3 sentences use dialogue and action to make the story unfold. Try and make each sentence build to the next.
Like this: But the freakiest thing happened today when I was walking home from school. Of course it was raining, and I couldn’t wait to get into my house. But then I saw an odd glistening object. I called ahead to my sister, “Tell mom I’ll be right there.”
STEP THREE: Bring the tension, conflict or plot to a peak. These 3-4 sentences push your character to her breaking point, bring your reader to the edge of her seat or leave her hoping for something good to happen. Dare to make something zany actually happen to your character. It’s ok. It’s a short story. The main point has to be made here, and using drama can usually help. Plus it’s fun!
Like this: The object stuck up from this mound of mud in the front yard of this grey house on the way to my neighborhood. No grass grew there. We always talked about how there must be something scary buried in the ground to keep the grass from growing. I picked up the object. It was a bottle with a note in it and I could read what it said without even unrolling the paper, because all it said in big, black letters, was “DIG HERE!”
STEP FOUR: End your story with 4-5 sentences that bring the whole story together. Readers love it when the main character wins, overcomes something or does something great. But sometimes it doesn’t work that way and your story will need to end with some sort of a twist. Here’s where you make your reader go, “Ooooooooo!
Like this: When I showed my mom the note, she said, “This is just a game some kids are playing,” but she dialed the police department anyway. They arrived in 20 minutes, telling us that there was an old story about this note from 20 years before, when an old bank robber hid his loot under that very mound. 4 hours later they uncovered a leather bag with a bunch of money in it. I got an award from my town and the mayor shook my hand for a picture on the front page of our paper! Now, I love the rain.