Portrait - Iwunze-Ibiam

In the course of offering coaching services  and editorial consultation, I have read a lot of stories from talented writers. But often, there is always something missing. You can tell that the writer’s story could win awards if they understood the basics of short story writing.

In this post, I’ll like to discuss one secret. What makes up a fantastic story? A lot. But here’s one thing to consider when you choose an idea for a short story. every story has four components.

Every story has four components. Every storyteller must ensure that their stories have the following four parts:

  1. A Beginning: The main character is introduced to the reader. This character must have a clear need, want or passionate desire. The need or want will motivate the character to act in a certain way. And we must learn about the obstacles that are in the character’s way. Your story shouldn’t begin too late. Don’t have your main character watching TV or weeping on the toilet seat for hours. Let’s see them doing something about their situation. Start from the rising action. You can learn How To Begin A Short Story from the How To Write Fantastic Short Stories Series book or video lecture.
  1. A Middle: The character’s experiences difficulty in reaching the goal or accomplishing his task. Sometimes, the character almost gives up. The more difficult the goal, the more interesting the story is likely to be. Ensure that the stakes are high enough. But they must be reasonable. You can learn How To Write A Short and Compressed Middle  from the How To Write Fantastic Short Stories Series book or video lecture.
  1. An Ending: which is where the conflict is resolved.. First of all, the ending must connect to the beginning in some way. So the story seems to have come full circle. The character might succeed or fail or learn something new by the end of their story. . There has to be a kind of change—or a promise of change—in the main character as a result of his quest. The character might either be drawn to his goal or away from it. You can learn How To Write A Gratifying Ending from the How To Write Fantastic Short Stories Series book or video lecture.
  1. A Meaning: What does the story mean? And why are you telling this story in the first place? Your reason should go beyond your quest for recognition and money. You have to be passionate about the story you’re telling, else readers can tell that you’re just blabbing. You don’t want your reader to hiss at the end of the story and say, “So what?” Give them something to think about.

One good reason to tell a story might be: so someone can experience the day to day living of a double-mastectomy survivor. Award-winning writer, Wayne Scheer ,once told me he wrote one of his stories so that young people will know that the elderly have a life.

So these are the four components that must make up a story. Any story that lacks any of these isn’t really a story.

You can Get Resources On Writing Short Stories HERE

Best Regards,

Chioma Iwunze Ibiam.

Ankara Press Author: http://www.ankarapress.com/products/finding-love-again


Phone no: +234-8099444191



Post post image courtesy of author.

Facebook link image by David Bleasdale via Flickr.

I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

One Response to “What Components Make A Short Story? | By Chioma Iwunze Ibiam” Subscribe

  1. Nnamdi 2016/06/13 at 9:52 am #

    Thanks so much, Chioma. I see some of the corrections you made for me reflected here.

    And, I know you’re busy, but I’m still expecting your email.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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