You have an idea for your story…

The next thing to think about is….

Your readers!

Think about your audience!

For a start, who are your readers? Adults, children, teachers, friends…? Be aware of them and how they may read your story and what they may read into your story… or perhaps not understand!

Are your readers young adults?

Your audience is not watching a play, film or TV programme. They only have your words there on the page. You have to give them all the information that they will need to understand, enjoy and want to read your story. So use lots of descriptive language.

They do not want to be baffled, bored or bemused.

Decisions, decisions…

Decide on the story line or action or series of events you are going to write about, and the order in which they are to be written (you can use flashbacks and other devices to make your story more interesting, intriguing or unusual) (Think plot)

Decide on your characters, not too many of them in a short story, imagine what they are like and what they look like and how each fit into the pattern of events .Are the characters in some sort of relationship with each other? (Think people)

Decide on who is telling the story, you, a single character, several characters, a detached observer (Think point of view – think POV)

Decide where your events are taking place in terms of a physical setting and in terms of when the action happened. (Think place)

Does your story start on a deserted wintry beach… or is that where it ends?

Decide what events take place to carry the story and your readers along. (Think pace)

Remember the 5 P’s






Decide on your opening. Is there a description to set the scene? Is it an action packed beginning?

Is there a formula which will enable the reader to understand what sort of story it is, e.g., ‘Once upon a time…’

Decide on an ending which will satisfy your readers and tie up all the loose ends.


  1. Carl D'Agostino

    Fortunately my cartoons appeal to a very broad population. They are esp a hit to those with some historical and literary knowledge because of the allusions I often use and a hit with the 40+ crowd. I can’t believe that several dozen professional talented artists and cartoonists follow as well as my computer skills are limited and my art primitive compared to their accomplished work.


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