Short Story and Structure (or Not)

So I posted last week that I would be trying my hand at a short story. I bought a few “how to” books, including Let’s Write a Short Story! by Joe Bunting. In the book he writes about three main types of story structure.

The Basic Three-Act Structure

Act One- The character discovers he has a problem.

Act Two- The character tries to solve the problem and fails until trying one last time.

Act Three- The character sits with the failure or success so wee know it is the end.

The Book Jacket Structure

The story echoes the beginning (theme, a phrase, a location, or action) at the end, with a twist.

A Story With A Hole In It

The story is really two stories. The first part is the character up to her transformation (called a transformative experience in the book) and the last part is the character after the transformation.


I wondered which structure to choose? I hate choosing. AND, since I keep writing and then shredding/deleting parts of the story  my structure is unclear. This weekend, after I take care of the family, I am applying butt to chair and writing! No more shredding/deleting. I’ll get to the deleting and shredding in the revision process.

If you write, do your actively think about the story structure before you begin? If you are a reader, can you think of any stories you love with these structures? I would love to hear from you while I’m being tortured, no, I mean while I’m writing this short story.





About Stormie Kent

Stormie Kent is the author of romance with science-fiction, paranormal and contemporary elements. The universe she has envisioned for her erotic sci-fi romances are filled with warrior men and the women who fiercely love them. Space pirates abound with dueling goals of stealing your credits and your life or stealing villain credits and freeing the slaves of the United Universe. Stormie has imagined a world where the hostile alien invasion of the third planet from the Sun forces each surviving resident of a fractured Earth to seize their destiny or perish. Enslaved in Desire and Battling Rapture are available now.

Posted on 10/27/2012, in Work-In-Progress and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. When I first starting writing it just flowed, no structure. But later on, I did some structure to make sure it flowed as I wanted it to. Plotting is hard. But sometimes I think it is necessary to stay on track. I’ll have to get myself a printable copy. Learning book I like to mark up.

    • Hello Mary,
      I’m almost 4,000 words into my short story. Once I settled on the characters, and they were able to tell me their story I was ok. Short stories are a little harder for me because if I discover something new, I can’t just explore it. That’s why I always end up with a novella or novel and not a short.

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