We know that every piece of poetry or literature possesses elements to be created. Well, a short story is not an exemption. There are 5 most common elements of writing fiction.

On this blog, we will discuss the different elements of writing fiction and how each element is interdependent with one another.


A character of a story is one of the elements of writing fiction story. A character is someone or something that takes part in the action of the story or any literature. The characters are divided into three types— the protagonist, supporting characters, and the antagonist.

A protagonist is the main character in a story. The story revolves around this person’s life, interest, and struggles to achieve a certain goal.

Meanwhile, an antagonist is a character who opposes or antagonizes the lead character. He prevents the protagonist from living happily ever after.  The antagonist is not just limited to a person. it can be nature, God, or even fate.

Lastly, the supporting characters. These characters may have lesser importance than protagonists and antagonists combined. But, usually, they play important roles, either to support the protagonist or help the antagonist to make his evil plans come to life.


In the story, “The Little Red Riding Hood”, the protagonist is Red Riding Hood, while the supporting characters are the grandmother and the woodcutter. On the other hand, the antagonist is the big bad wolf.


We always begin our story with where and not how.  That’s why setting made its way to the list of the most important elements of writing fiction. Setting tells us about the time and place where the story happens. Authors often use vivid descriptions of landscape, scenery, buildings, seasons or weather to provide a strong sense of setting.


In the story Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, the setting is in the U.S in the year 2081.


The plot is the blood of the story. Without the plot, there will be no story to tell. A plot refers to the storyline and the series of happenings in the story. It has 5 common elements.

The plot is divided into 5 parts:

First is the exposition. This is where the setting and characters are being introduced.

In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and her sisters are young, unmarried, poor women in England.

Second is the rising action, where the series of events are happening that lead to the point of great interest.

An eligible bachelor moves into the neighborhood and falls for Elizabeth’s sister Jane

The climax is the highest point of interest in the story in which the characters will do something to resolve the conflict.

His friend Mr. Darcy also falls for Elizabeth, but he fights against it and wounds her pride.

Next is the falling action, this is the part where the conflicts have been solved.

The conflict is resolved when Elizabeth realizes her true feelings and agrees to marry Mr. Darcy.

And lastly, the conclusion or denouement, this is the final resolution of the conflict and the end of the story.

Elizabeth and Darcy became a married couple.

Note that the structure of the plot is not always in this order. There are times when writers experiment on the plot. For example, the climax can start at the beginning of the story, instead of in the middle. This shows the mastery of the writer and shows his distinct style in story writing.


A “conflictless” story is a boring story. Conflict brings spice to the table because it talks about the struggle of the characters in a short story.

Conflicts can be  classified into the following:

Man vs. Man – this is the typical Protagonist-Antagonist conflict

The conflict between Cinderella and her sisters.

Man vs. Himself – the protagonist struggles with his own mind and/or weakness

In The Metamorphosis, Gregor finds himself transformed as an insect, a cockroach, but the people around him don’t see it.

Man vs. Nature – the protagonist fights a force of nature

Captain Ahab vs. Moby Dick

Man vs. Society – a typical conflict between one person and the society’s beliefs and tradition

An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen

Man vs. Technology or Machine – portrays man’s struggle towards the advancement or change in time

 2001: A Space Odyssey where characters Dave and Frank is in conflict with Hal, their flight computer.


If the plot is the blood of writing fiction then the theme is the heart of it. This element of writing fiction focuses on the idea, ideals, and belief of a short story.

The Tale of the tortoise and the hare’s theme is “slow and steady wins the race.”

Read this: Different English Figures of Speech to Make You a Creative Writer