His short stories have a distinct style in Urdu literature. His short stories AAnandi and Overcoat earned him international fame. He became popular without associating himself or depending on any of the literary movement or group. Aanandi, JaaDay ki Chaandni and Kan ras are his books of short stories.
What fascinated him more than any other thing was human nature and how it responds to stress and emotion. Most of his stories were short on action and plot, revealing the inner working and evolution of the character rather than telling an exciting tale.
His influence in Urdu short story writing has been both long and deep. In his short stories he often exposes shortcomings, weaknesses and hypocrisy in human beings. But his tone is never sarcastic or venomous. He does not like affection and pretension but he never makes fun of the people having these shortcomings. Nor does he aim to bring any social revolution. His diction is simple. Jaray Ki Chandni (Moonlight in Winter) is the best known book of Gulam Abbas and contains many of his most famous stories.
He was a great admirer of the Russian short story tradition and loved the work of Chekhov and Gorky. However the writer he most admired and modeled himself on was Maupassant.
His love of poetry, specially Urdu poetry was abiding and deep, but he never ventured into it himself seriously.