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How to Write a Short Story
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How to Write a Short Story (Sparknotes Ultimate Style)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  31 ratings  ·  9 reviews

TheHow to Writeseries aims to give students a recipe of sorts for creating excellent creative and academic prose and poetry. Each book is constructed as a set of instructions that are meant to illuminate the writing process, eliminating the mystery that so many other books seem to celebrate. Our belief is that writing well is a skill all students can learn, if they have th

Paperback, 185 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Sparknotes (first published January 2006)
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Robert Healy III
This book is highly adequate in dissecting the various tools and techniques contained within the average short story. I believe any aspiring writer--or even successful published short story authors--could find many useful tips in this book. Definitely worth a read, possibly even multiple reads over time.
This book is amazing, simply put. I am looking through it now and it has great examples. I can hear my professors speaking through different forms...

It should be used as a textbook, plain and simple.

I suggest it wholeheartedly.

A. Hotzler
It was a good refresher, but apart from the things you'd normally pick up, it doesn't contribute a lot. I do like the idea of using one story as the central example in which the different aspects of writing a short story is related to Bierce's story.
September Michaud
Excellent guide. I have tabbed the chapters and will continue to refer back to this book in the future. It is a very informative introduction to the short story, and it provides good examples as well as intentionally bad examples.

While the examples and exercises are great, it also helps to apply what you learn to various other short stories too. I really used this as a kind of work book while reading a few collections of short stories (try "The Best American Short Stories" series). This really h
I bought this book the summer before I started my MFA in Creative Writing; I loved it then and I love it now. I have to say it's the best writing book I've read. It's put out by SparkNotes, so everything is very simplistic and easy to follow. The short stories referenced are those often required for school, so the reader most likely already has a basic knowledge. The book then takes apart these stories to exemplify different terms and methods. The approach is hands-off enough to let your creativ ...more
This book was very clear and easy to read. Even though I've had several high school and college classes on writing, this book taught me many things I'd never learned before and put abstract ideas into a concrete setting I could easily understand and apply to my work. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who needs to write short stories for school or wants to write them for pleasure. It's a must-read and I wish I had found it years ago!
Tell me something I don't already know.
I had hoped to find out how to take a novel and cut it into a short story, or how to take a scene and make it longer into a short story. Instead it talked about basic writing skills, what is necessary for a short story (plot, characters, etc.) Will need to try and find something else.
This book is more than just a list of directions, it's like a complete lesson on what to and what not to do. Each chapter guided me into completing my short story. If you can't get a complete story after reading this book, then I don't know what to tell you.
Jun 29, 2014 Jen marked it as to-read
I thought reading a lot of stories would be good prep for writing a good story, but it turns out there are RULES in writing.
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Many of the editions by this group of authors are actually guides to books rather than the works.

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Sparknotes Ultimate Style (3 books)
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