Thinking of a story plot in mind is having a rough outline of your draft. A story outline is forming a plan to make your story’s structure, main events, character outlines, and the main plot or twist. This outline also includes the backstory and a development plan of your characters’ features and traits. It can be also used as the base for short story writing, making the flow of the story more efficient and spontaneous.
10+ Short Story Outline Samples
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2. Short Story Outlining
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5. Short Story Curriculum Outline
6. Short Story Course Outline
7. Sample Short Story Outline
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9. Short Story Outline Example
10. Contemporary Short Story Outline
11. Simple Short Story Outline
What Is a Short Story Outline?
Writing a short story is narrower that the scope of work on writing a novel. However, short stories still contain the different elements that writers use in writing a full-size novel such as the main characters, a character arc, a comprehensive plot, and a section for closing sets of events. With a short story outline, writers can save more time in their writing process by enabling them to plan the event that will happen to the story they are composing.
How to Create a Short Story Outline
A short story outline or plot outline is a written document that contains the description of a story’s essential elements and is included in the first phase of the writing process of a screenplay, book, or another type of written fiction. With this document, writers can efficiently plan the development of their stories, expand the traits of their characters, and think of how to place the important events or twists in their stories.
Step 1: Create a Summary of Your Short Story
You can start by summarizing your short story regardless of whether you already have a small or uneventful short story idea or a fully developed character arc. The summary can refer to an event that you want to take place in the short story or an actual narrative of the event from start to finish. If you find it difficult to summarize your short story, you can write a one-sentence summary of your piece.
Step 2: Describe the Theme of your Characters
List down your main character’s name or their temporary name if you have not decided on one yet. You can also just write “main character”. Then write the reason or relevance of their character to the story and what they are trying to achieve or convey.
Step 3: Describe the Theme of Your Short Story
After determining the relevance of your characters in the story, you can now focus on identifying the general theme of your short story. Take some time to discuss or decide what your story will be about.
Step 4: Create the Outline of Your Short Story
You can create the outline of your story by connecting its summary to the story’s theme and the character’s theme. Most short stories follow a structure that includes a brief glance at ordinary life, an event when something out of the ordinary takes place, and the time when the character responds to the change.
What are the different elements of a short story outline?
A short story outline is like a novel outline which is a visual tool that allows you to track the development of the story, from character developments, storyline, and logical consistency to its ending. A short story outline contains elements that are the problem, the solution to the problem, character development, critical plot points, and world-building.
What are the useful tips when writing a short story outline?
When writing an outline for your short story, start by creating a simple and deep theme that gradually adds content to the story to make it more complex as it develops, create a quasi-outline or draft outline, and utilize unpredictability and conflict to make the story interesting, use internal monologues for your protagonist, and use a writing outline template to establish your story.
How can I start a short story?
To start an engaging short story, begin as close to the action as possible, set the tone of the short story, and focus on how your main character behaves so your readers can immediately determine who the story will be about.
A short story outline is a planner template or tool that allows the writer to establish the structure of their stories like their important events, characters, and main plot. Like a research paper or student paper, a short story outline also consists of three basic parts which are the introduction, the body of the text, and a concluding statement or paragraph. With these basic parts, writers can create a road map as their guide as they move from one chapter to the next.
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