How to create a short story? Tips and strategies for starting your story

Escrito por Thiago Pinheiro

ArqBahia team of authors.


Writing an engaging short story is more than just putting words together; is to create a captivating universe that holds the reader from beginning to end. If you've ever wondered how skilled writers manage to captivate their audiences with engaging storytelling, this step-by-step guide is for you.

Discovering the Essence of Your Story

Before you start writing, it's crucial to understand the essence of your story. Ask yourself: What is the message I want to convey? Who are my main characters and what is the central conflict? Defining these fundamental elements from the beginning will give direction to your narrative.

When developing the text, delve into the emotions you want to convey. If it's a love story, explore love in all its nuances, such as anger and jealousy. If it's an adventure, feel the adrenaline of the unknown, as well as the fear and new things. Let how you relate to your text guide you.

Engaging the Reader with Vivid Characters

Well-developed characters are the backbone of any captivating tale. They must be more than mere names on pages; they need to be real to the reader. Create characters that are complex, with unique characteristics, dreams and flaws. Make the reader care about what happens to them.

Incorporate authentic dialogue that reveals each character's personality. By doing this, you not only tell a story, but you create an emotional connection between the reader and your characters. It's this connection that keeps people coming back for more.

Building a Scenographic World

The setting of your story is like the stage on which the characters perform. Whether it's a modern urban setting, a fictional city or a fantasy world, details are crucial. Use language to paint vivid pictures in the reader's mind. Describe not only the physical appearance of the environment, but also the sensations and emotions it evokes.

By creating a well-defined world, you transport the reader into the story, allowing them to experience each scene as if they were there. Don't underestimate the power of a well-crafted scenario to immerse the reader in the plot. Anyone who has read The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter knows this very well, right?

The Rhythm of the Narrative

Rhythm is the pulse of your story. The alternation between moments of calm and intensity keeps the reader engaged. Use short paragraphs and punchy sentences to build tension at crucial moments. Balance this with moments of reflection and character development to give the reader a break when needed.

Experiment with narrative structure. It could be a surprising twist, a strategic flashback, or even a change in perspective. A dynamic pace keeps the story fresh and intriguing.


Telling an engaging story is an art that combines passion, creativity and technique. By following these steps, you'll be on your way to creating a short story that not only captures attention but also leaves a lasting mark.

Remember, each story is unique, as is the creation process. Experiment, be bold, and have fun telling your story to the world.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Do I need to follow a specific formula when creating a short story?

No, there is no single formula. However, following the essential elements, such as a clear essence, captivating characters, and an engaging pace, can help create a solid foundation.

2. How much time should I dedicate to character development?

The time devoted to character development varies, but allow enough time for them to become three-dimensional. Knowing your characters deeply makes for a more authentic narrative.

3. How do I choose the perfect setting for my story?

The setting should complement the essence of your story. Consider the desired atmosphere and how the environment will influence your characters.

4. Is there a magic formula for creating an engaging rhythm?

There is no single formula, but experimenting with alternating moments of tension and calm, along with strategic twists, can create an engaging rhythm.

5. Can I break the rules of writing when telling my story?

Yes, rules can be broken, as long as it is intentional and contributes to the reader's experience. Innovation often arises from creatively breaking patterns.


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