Short Story Ideas That Will Jumpstart the Writing Process

While it may seem easy to write short stories, they are in fact tricky to write. They are considerably shorter than a novel, so you will have to compress the main idea, the characters, and other concepts into a shorter format.

One of the most difficult parts of writing a short story is the beginning. 

Here are Short Story Ideas that will help jumpstart the writing process. 

The short story ideas are divided into specific genres.

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Science Fiction

  • A small alien nation is looking for a new home. They inhabit a huge spaceship and travel the stars. However, their resources are dwindling fast. They soon crash land in a jungle world, and they decide to build a colony there. The natives though, have other ideas.

  • A young boy is shipwrecked on a seemingly uninhabited island. He sets out to check the island for any sign of life. What he finds, is a lost civilization of humanoid robots that have plans of conquering the world.

  • An elderly astronomer is about to die and decides he wants to look at the stars one more time. He goes out to his yard and does some stargazing. A bright light appears, and he is transported to a humongous spaceship where he regains his youth. Was the astronomer taken by aliens or did he die and pass on to the next life?

  • A police officer is investigating a plane crash in the woods. Once he gets to the wreckage, he soon discovers that it was not a plane, but an alien spacecraft. He investigates it further and soon finds out that it was holding something vicious and dangerous. Now he has to use all his wits and courage, to get out of the woods alive.

Historical Fiction

  • Caesar and his legions have crossed the Rubicon, and all of Rome is in chaos. Pompey Magnus is calling all former legionnaires to his cause. Magnus Ventanus was a former centurion who fought under Caesar in Gaul. He wants to join Caesar and his legions, however, his home and his family are still in Rome.

  • Thomas Lyndon lives in Victorian-era London and works as a writer for the local papers. One of his articles is critical of the present regime, and a young duke takes offense at this. He challenges Thomas to a duel. Duels during this time were considered illegal, however, the duke could not be satisfied and gives Thomas a set date for the duel. Thomas only has a few weeks to prepare. Will he survive? Or will he just be another casualty of affairs of honor between gentlemen?

  • The Great War has just begun, and thousands of men were being conscripted from all the small towns in Great Britain. Tom Sutton, a young chimney sweep is one of these men. Will he be able to survive the dangers of trench warfare?


  • Florence is a young Catholic nun, who has just taken her vows. She is sent to a village in South America where she is tasked to help the sick and dying. Amongst the volunteers is a young and idealistic doctor who wants to help the people. The two soon bond over their experiences, and they develop feelings for one another. However, Florence is a nun, and romantic relationships are forbidden within her order. Should she follow her heart or stay true to her vows?

  • Edwin is a middle-aged divorcee who is totally devoted to raising his young son. He has no time for romance and is not actively looking for a partner. This soon changes, when he meets a mysterious young woman, who seems to know a lot about him.

  • John is a young man who lives on a secluded Irish coast. He earns his living as a fisherman and leads an austere yet satisfied existence. This is soon disturbed when a beautiful young woman is caught in his nets. He saves her life and finds out that she is running away from a dark and painful past.


  • Folric is a dwarf miner who lives alone in an abandoned diamond mine. The mine was once home to a large colony of dwarfs, but after they were attacked by a horde of ogres, and Folric is left the sole survivor. He spends his days getting drunk, and mining diamonds. He has amassed quite a fortune, yet lives in fear that the ogres will come back to claim his hoard.

  • Slivan is a young elf maiden who lives in the woodland realm of Rochet. She is training as a blacksmith and lives a peaceful life. This is changes drastically when an army of satyr start pillaging the nearby towns. Rochet is protected by enchantments, but Slivan feels pity for the humans of the towns. She soon sets out to establish an elven militia that will help the townsfolk.

  • Meldin is a 30-year-old hunter who lives on the fringes of the dark forest. He has lived there his whole life and has never gone to the city. This soon changes when an army of trolls starts gathering. Now it is up to Meldin to escape the forests and warn the nearby city of the danger looming.


  • Tommy Burns is a bus driver who does the night shift. He is relatively new and likes his job. One day, his boss asks him to drive another bus. This specific bus was part of a horrific accident where ten kids lost their lives. The accident happened over 5 years ago, and the bus has been repaired. Tommy is apprehensive to drive the bus but does it anyway. On the first night, strange things start to happen. He never seems to get any passengers, but every time he looks back on the seats, there seems to be a shadow sitting there.

  • Ben is a young man who works for a demolition company. His job is to check on condemned homes for valuable items before it is destroyed. It is usually a humdrum job until he checks on a hundred-year-old Victorian house. It is a vast estate that has many rooms. Disturbingly all the rooms are etched with indecipherable writings. Every part of the walls is etched with these writings, and it must have taken the writer years to accomplish this. Intrigued by these writings, Ben takes a picture and sends them to a friend. He soon finds out that the writings are demonic in nature, and they all lead to blood sacrifice.

If you want to jumpstart the short story writing process, you will need to know where to begin. With these short story ideas, you will be able to write short stories as soon as possible.

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