When I write a short story I like to have as few characters as possible. If they play no part in the plot, they’re not in the story. I also like to add a foil character if I can. Pitting them against the protagonist. Sometimes it works well, other times I have to do rewrites so that I can make a clear connection between both characters.
I prefer to write in the first person as I feel it allows for a character to have a confessional attribute. When I first started writing I used third person point of view, usually omniscient. Later I found you could have just as much fun with a limited narrator and drop hints that might help the reader. I rarely if ever use second person point of view. I really don’t like it for some reason.
I find the middle of a story the hardest to write and at times I have to reign myself in and try to remember that there is an eventual end to a story. The middle of the story doesn’t have to be 1000s of words long but should at least highlight the conflict a character is going through. With a little insight into how a character overcame their difficulties.
I liken writing to climbing a mountain. You can see the obstacle in front of you and have to be open and willing to climb each obstacle one step at a time.