Select Page

Short-Story Structure

by | Jan 2, 2012 | Review | 0 comments

Authors sometimes ask me about the structure of short stories. In my experience, this can vary wildly.

Some short stories may include elements of the three-act structure that’s the underpinning of many novels and screenplays—a Call to Adventure, a Refusal of the Call, and so on—but many short stories are perfectly satisfying without these steps.

For me, the bottom line is that, in a short story, something changes and it matters.

Even when I say, “something changes,” that’s kind of negotiable. The hero may try to effect a change and fail. Even then, of course, there is a change of sorts: defeat.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Freshsheet Reviews logo reversed

Subscribe Free!

Sign up for the FRESH SHEET newsletter and get curated local, national, and international arts coverage — all sorts of arts — every week.


Drop a line to


FRESH SHEET, the reviews and FRESH SHEET, the newsletter are available free. But writing them is a full-time job and arts criticism is in peril. Please support FRESH SHEET by sending an e-transfer to or by becoming a patron on Patreon.

Copyright ©2024 Colin Thomas. All rights reserved.