#SOOP on Monday: Top 20 Short Stories & Book Ideas for September 25, 2023


As we celebrate last week’s best short story ideas, we want to provide some helpful tips to excel in short story crafting.

The value of short stories is more significant than ever in today’s fast-paced world, where filler content, reel videos, and social media dominate our attention. Concise narratives can captivate readers with their charm, brevity, and depth. But we ask ourselves, what truly constitutes a great short story?

Let’s explore the essential elements that make a short story exceptional:

Compelling Characters: Well-developed characters are at the heart of any great short story. Readers should connect with or relate to them; these characters should have clear motivations and unique personalities. A character’s evolution throughout the story can also add depth. 

A Strong Opening: Beginnings matter. A good short story should grab the reader’s attention from the first sentence. Whether it’s an intriguing question, a vivid description, or an unexpected event, a compelling opening sets the stage for the narrative. 

Conflict and Resolution: Conflict is the engine that drives a short story forward. Conflict creates tension and keeps readers engaged, whether it’s an internal struggle or an external obstacle. The resolution doesn’t necessarily mean a happy ending; it should provide a satisfying conclusion that resolves the central conflict. 

Setting and Atmosphere: The setting of a short story is the backdrop against which the narrative unfolds. A well-described environment can immerse readers in the story’s world, enhancing their emotional connection. Atmosphere, however, sets the tone and mood, evoking specific feelings in the reader. 

Theme and Subtext: An excellent short story often explores deeper themes or conveys a message without explicitly stating it. Subtext allows readers to interpret and reflect upon the story’s meaning, adding layers of complexity. 

Economical Language: Short stories are about conciseness. Every word should serve a purpose, and unnecessary details should be avoided. This economy of language makes each word more impactful. 

Pacing: Effective pacing ensures that the story unfolds at the right speed. Short stories require careful pacing to maintain tension and reader engagement. This might involve strategic use of dialogue, action, and reflection. 

Twists and Surprises: While not mandatory, an unexpected twist or surprise element can elevate a short story. It keeps readers guessing and adds an element of excitement. 

Emotional Resonance: A good short story should evoke emotion. Whether it’s joy, sorrow, anger, or empathy, the reader should feel something when they reach the story’s end. 

A Memorable Closing: Just as important as the beginning is the ending. A memorable closing can leave a lasting impression. It should tie up loose ends, provide resolution, and leave room for readers to contemplate.

Revision and Editing: Writing a good short story involves multiple rounds of revision and editing. Through this process, writers refine their work, ensuring it meets their intended goals. 

Reader Engagement: A great short story engages the reader’s imagination. It invites them to think, question, or reflect on the themes and characters long after reading. 

It takes skill and practice to master the art of short story writing, but with dedication and creativity, one can create narratives that resonate with readers on a profound level. Whether you’re a writer or a reader, the allure of a beautifully written short story is undeniable, making it a timeless form of storytelling.

Monsters at Night

Genres: , Contest Category – Horror,

Working Grace

Genres: , ,


Genres: , Contest Category – Science Fiction,

White Lies and Lipstick

Genres: , Contest Category – LGBTQ+,

Sex (Cells, Sells, Sales)

Genres: , Contest Category – Science Fiction,

A Chip in the Mask

Genres: , Contest Category – Science Fiction,

Trapped on the A-Train

Genres: , Contest Category – Science Fiction,

Exhausted from Fighting Two Demonic Entities

Genres: , Contest Category – Religion & Spirituality,

Your Disability Doesn’t Affect Your Ability

Genres: , Contest Category – Motivational / Inspirational,

Dad’s Story

Genres: , Contest Category – History,

Shades of Grey

Genres: , Contest Category – Dystopian,

The Lost Shoe

Genres: , Contest Category – Children’s Fiction,

Sheryl Manson: Cry for Help

Genres: , ,

The Mind’s Sketch

Genres: , Contest Category – Romance,

Nine Days

Genres: , ,

The Mistress

Genres: , Contest Category – Dystopian,

The Homecoming

Genres: , Contest Category – Dystopian,

Love Doesn’t Mean FOOL

Genres: ,Contest Category – Positive Social Transformation,

From Beginning to End

Genres: , Contest Category – Motivational / Inspirational,


Genres: ,Contest Category – Positive Social Transformation,

How to Make the Top 20?

Simple! Gather as many votes as you can! 

Read this blog to gain additional guidance on how to promote your idea through our Fan Base Building Model. If qualifying is too challenging for you, here’s an option you may want to explore. 

Work with SOOP

Everyone at SOOP will help you work towards success.

When you submit your Book Idea, you can choose one of two ways to reach your publishing goal: Free or Premium Levels. At each stage of the voting process, SOOP’s Free Level assigns homework, which helps you not only make substantial progress in marketing your work, but also helps you develop the best story possible. SOOP manages your homework in phases and returns your homework on a pass/fail basis.

SOOP’s Premium Level also assigns homework with a required 85% passing grade, ensuring you understand the curriculum before proceeding. In addition to a higher standard for your homework, our panel of experts provides personalized feedback, arming you with more information and allowing you to adjust the course when necessary.

Explore our website to purchase our Certification Program, learn more about Author-Driven Publishing, read additional FAQ answers, or submit a Book or Short Story Idea.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Something or Other Publishing, LLC