How to Write a Short Story

Written by Vlisco Stories Team10 years, 9 months ago

Maybe some of you have noticed that Vlisco appeared in the book Around The World in 80 Brands by the storytellers from CoolBrands. We asked Chief Storyteller Maarten to give us some Tips and tricks to write a short story about the naming of a Vlisco fabric. Here is his story:

Short story writing requires the ability to relate a complete story within, say 150 words. The biggest challenge is to be short. This means you can’t tell everything, just a highlight. Don’t try to transfer as much information as possible, but create the desire to know more. 




  • First, we need to create the setting, the story takes place somewhere. Pick a place or setting that adds value to the story.
  • Then, introduce us to the main character, the person who named the fabric. 
  • Make the link to the actual fabric, being the fabric or a creation made from the fabric.
  • Share the story of the fabric with us. This needs to be done in no more than a few sentences. 
  • Create a ‘fade out’, ending the story, but knowing there is so much more to be told….we would love to meet the main character, ask lots of questions….our curiosity has been awakened. 


- Now, write a first line that catches our attention, leading up to the finals of the story.

- Last, but not least, create a title for your story, including the name of the fabric. 




[TITLE] Kilikili star – “the love of my life”


[FIRST LINE] On a warm evening, after our yearly family dinner, I am quietly sitting on the porch, enjoying the evening sky….


[SETTING] A porch with a view, in the evening, after a family dinner

[MAIN CHARACTER] My grandmother who is wearing her favourite dress

[FABRIC] Kilikili star – the fabric of which her dress is made

[THE STORY OF THE NAMING] She tells how she came up with the name and why this is so special for her

[END] After telling the story, she sits still and suddenly I see a secret smile appear on her face…..there is much more to this story than she told me…



Depending on how thoroughly you’ve sketched out your plot and characters, the actual writing process may simply be one of choosing the right words.


The first sentence of any writing should grab the reader’s attention and leave him/her wanting more.


A quick start is especially important in short stories because you don’t have much room to tell your story. Don’t start with long introductions of the characters or uninteresting descriptions of the setting.


Don’t overdo the description

All stories require description, but when you’re working with short story writing, it often comes at the expense of the story. This is not saying that you can’t have descriptive short stories, only that you need to decide if it’s essential and how best to express it. 




Maarten Schäfer

Chief Storyteller at CoolBrands







  • Benedicta

    What an amazing idea. Thank you Vlisco!

  • Queen Cisse

    I am happy i came across this on my fb page, now I have to put my story on the map of my history. thanks for the opportunity!

  • Bruce Mbayo

    Thank you Vlisco Team

  • Christof Zürn

    Thanks for your tips & tricks!

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