Short Story Structure 1
by Philip Brewer
1. A character,
2. in a situation,
3. with a problem,
4. who tries repeatedly to solve the problem,
5. but fails, usually making the problem worse.
6. At the climax of the story the hero makes a final attempt which may succeed or fail.
7. The result of the hero's final attempt is validated in a way that makes it clear what we saw was the final result.
Short Story Structure 2
by Sarah A. Hoyt
1. First line or two
Introduce the most startling or grabby thing about your characters/setting/situation.
2. Rest of the first paragraph
Lay out character/setting/ and most of all problem. You might want to lead with problem as that brings out the most interesting things about your idea.
3. Next few pages (From the first paragraph up to the 25% mark)
Develop the present situation which your character is caught. This situation is usually not the main problem, and you should have at least one try/fail before getting character out of the PRESENT situation. About 1/4 of the way through the story, have the character realize what the REAL problem is.
4. From the 25% point to the mid-point
Initiate try/fails to solve the main problem.
Around middle of the story have character realize he was going about obtaining goal the wrong way or that his/her assumptions were oh, so wrong.
6. 62% (between the mid-point and the 3/4 mark)
Activate cunning plan.
7. 75% mark
Try fail sequences set up about 3/4 through the story.
8. 88% mark
"Writers Black Moment" about 1/8th from the end."
9. 95% to 100%
"Resolution: and usually not much because it’s a short story."