There are many definitions. Some feel it’s a photograph of a certain situation in writing, like a slice of life. For me, there’s only one definition of a short story. It follows these five steps:
1. A Sympathetic or engaging lead character who dominates the action and from whose point of view the action unfolds.
2. An urgent problem which confronts this lead and requires of him or her a protracted response in solving this problem.
3. A series of complications which arise, usually directly out of the leads efforts to solve the problem, which further aggravate that problem
4. A crisis which results from mounting complications where it appears that the lead’s efforts to solve the problem are doomed to failure.
5. A resolution in which the lead solves the problem, or in which he fails, while gaining some insight as a result of that failure.