2. Start Your Short Story With a Motive.
You can also start with a motive. My favorite motivational tool is the seven deadly sins: wrath, avarice, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. You can create many different kinds of stories from these archetypal character flaws, because they provide motivation.
Let’s say you chose wrath – anger as a motivation. Who’s angry?
If you’re writing a children’s story, you could write about a little boy or girl whose parents are divorcing. The child acts out. Who helps the child? Perhaps it’s a teacher, or an aunt or uncle. With this kind of story, the child, and the adults around him, learn a life lesson as a result of an incident in the story.