“Find the key emotion; this may be all you need to know to find your short story.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald
“A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.” – Edgar Allan Poe
Write as many different emotions as you can think of onto small slips of paper. Draw one at random and write a short story based around that emotion. How do your characters react based on this emotion? How does this particular feeling drive their actions? Always remember to show and never tell what your characters are feeling; a reader should sense the emotional tension in your story via your characters’ actions and dialogue.