Short Story
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Section 1

This is the first scene of your story and should compel your audience to read on. If you’re stuck, start by introducing your protagonist in their natural setting.

 

Exposition

 

Write your first scene here. Establish the key details in the opening: for example, introduce the protagonist, the antagonist, a hint at the future conflict, the setting, or a combination of these.

 

Section 2

Think about what questions your inciting event will raise for the reader. 

 

Inciting Incident

In this section, some event occurs to get the plot rolling. This event should signal a departure from some aspect of the protagonist’s world that you set up in the exposition. 

 

Section 3

In a short story, you don’t have a lot of space to build up to the climax. Be deliberate with the rising action and make sure it is relevant to the themes you’ve proposed. Everything that happens should progress the story in the right direction.

 

Rising Action

Here, your characters react to the inciting event. Set-up and preparations for the climactic action should happen in this section.

 

Section 4

 The antagonist does not need to be a person, necessarily: the protagonist could be struggling against internal or external forces or circumstances.

 

Climax

This is where the climax of the novel occurs. The protagonist faces their antagonist and there is an outcome: the protagonist succeeds or fails.  

 

Section 5

Especially with short fiction, it is not necessary to tie up every loose end your story has created. Just be sure that you return to the original question your story posed.

 

Falling Action and Resolution

The consequences of the outcome of climax play out in this section. Show how the key players react to and are affected by what has just happened in the climax.

 

Then, provide a glimpse of the new status quo for the protagonist and other characters. Show the changes to them and their world since your readers were first introduced, return to the themes or question posed and provide a sense of resolution. 

 

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