1. Setting: The first important element of a short story is the Setting. The setting refers to the time and place that the event(s) in the story take place.
2. Conflict: The conflict or complication refers to the tension, the fight or the struggle between the various characters or forces in the story. It actually is what gives fuel to the story and influences its flow (i.e. its plot). Without the conflict, then you have no story. It's that important!
3. Character: The character element is the person or people in a story. Sometimes the characters are not human, but may be animals or spirits. Incidentally, even when non-human characters are used, they tend to have human characteristics. Characters are usually of two types: the protagonist and the antagonist. The protagonist is the main character. He or she is in conflict with another character, who is known as the antagonist. An example of a protagonist and an antagonist are Superman, the protagonist, and Lex Luthor, the antagonist.
4. Theme: This element refers to the topic that the writer writes or comments on in his or her writing. The theme is the motif of the story, that is, it permeates the whole story and recurs throughout the narrative. An example of a theme is the topic of "bravery" in Harry Potter.
5. Plot: The plot refers to the flow of events in the story. Essentially, the plot refers to what is happening in the story.
6. Climax: The climax is the most exciting part of a story. It refers to when the conflict is about to or is getting resolved.
7. Dialogue: Not all stories have dialogue, but it is an important element of most of them. Dialogue is a conversation between the characters. Generally, stories will be primarily composed of narrative, and will have dialogue interspersed within the narrative (For example: Sally had always loved Bill. She looked at him and smiled, "Hi Bill." "Hi Sally," he replied.). The first two lines are narrative, and...