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The Art & Craft of the Short Story
The author "Shares advice from his years of writing and teaching experience on how to write a short story. His instruction is wise and accessible, a mix of insights and strategies, practical excercises, and exampleas classic stories from writers such as Erneit Hemingway, Anton Chekhov, and Eudora Welty."
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Story Press Books
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This is one of the few texts I’ve found dealing specifically with problems unique to short story writing. Some of the advice in this book is universal to writing in general, however it is particularly applicable to abbreviated stories. DeMarinis both begins and ends his book with a chilling confession: “I don’t know how to write a short story” (4, 224). Frightening though his beginning and ending statements may be (in between them is couched over two hundred pages of solid advice and direct exam ...more
I ordered this book without looking at it first because I’ve enjoyed a lot of DeMarinis’s stories, but I don’t think I would have bought it if I’d skimmed it in a bookstore. Not that it is a bad book. I think it is probably a great book on writing short stories, especially for those just starting on that path. It’s the kind of book I wish I’d had years ago, not that there isn’t something to learn from it now. It’s just that it didn’t help me to understand a better way to write about emotions the ...more
There isn't really too much so say on this that a simple - good advice on shorty stories, and general writing too, doesn't cover. Obviously the focus of this book is more on Short Stories (and of the literary kind) however I recommend it to all writers wanting to hone their craft, as DeMarinis provides excellent advice on style, analogy and P.O.V. all of which is applicable to novel writing also.
Not very well organized, and chapters like "Form" are less about form than about attempting unconventional forms, but this monograph is definitely one step more advanced and insightful than the usual "Writer's Digest" craft books, etc, with regard to the creative process and the writer's choices and the special requirements and character of the short story form.
I read the first half, and thoroughly skimmed the second half. There is a tremendous amount of overlap among books on writing. But each writer presents a couple original nuggets. This book is no exception. Some helpful things from a different perspective. This is a good one for beginners. Lots of examples, some famous and some from the author himself.
A worthy read but heavy on filler. I thought his assertion that plot equates to antecedent events was off base. Plot to me equates to the conflict. Antecedent events are one of the forms of conflict and do not necessarily create plot -- contrast, antithesis, but construction, etc. Yeah, this is MFA land, a realm I do not belong in, so I will stop.
Oct 13, 2008 Amy Saunders rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Intermediate short story writers.
A more advanced play-by-play of the short story. Equipped with exercises that make you think and then write outside of your comfort zone. There are not too many books dedicated to short story writing so this is a gem.