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12 Short Stories and Their Making: An Anthology with Interviews
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12 Short Stories and Their Making: An Anthology with Interviews

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Here is a fascinating and enlightening book for fiction readers and writers alike. Written by some of our most powerful contemporary authors, the twelve stories gathered here were selected as striking examples of one of the six elements of the craft: character, plot, theme, structure, voice, and setting. They draw the reader into worlds that seem miraculously whole. How wa ...more
Paperback, 356 pages
Published August 17th 2005 by Persea (first published July 1st 2005)
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3.80  · 
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 ·  81 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Chris  - Quarter Press Editor
Honestly, I was rather disappointed by this one. I'm an addict when it comes to actual writers talking about the nitty-gritty details of their process, which I thought this book would offer. Instead, we get the author's story--only about half of which did I find good/enlightening--followed by an interview between them and Mandelbaum.

Sure, some of them were rather instructive, but often, I just wanted the author to have a chance to express themself fully. I don't know, maybe I'm just picky. Or pe
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An excellent compendium with wonderful authors. Personally, my top three stories from this collection is Lahiri's "Third and Final Continent," Johnson's "China," and Garrett's "A Record as Long as Your Arm," but all are worthy of a read.

The editor, Paul Mandelbaum, arranged the stories into pairs with each pair exemplifying character, plot, POV/voice, setting, structure, or theme. Of course, all good stories will address all of these, but some highlight areas more predominantly than others.

Hannah Goodman
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Some of the stories I didn’t care for like The Story of My Life Kim Edwards, who wrote The Memory Keepers Daughter. I felt like it was contrived and after I read it, there was a section about how she wrote it and she said she took it right from a headline. I read this because it was supposed to be a story that had a tight plot. It totally bored me. I loved the Sandra Cisneros piece, even though it was a little confusing to follow. I like the idea behind this anthology. That we get the author's " ...more
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Most of the interviews came down to "I hadn't really planned that. It's just how the story came out." when asked about a piece of imagery, etc. Still, I found all of the stories at least mildly entertaining, and the interviews somewhat informative.

I recommend finding it at the library unless you're hardcore about writing and plan on marking it up.
Jun 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
I used this book for my Senior Capstone Writing class in college. I valued the interviews and direction from the authors of the stories. It is about as close to sitting down with the author as it can be. Many times, the literature about the development of stories is critique. This isn't the case. Overall, a very helpful read for a future writer.
May 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: writers.
A great collection, but only if you're a writer seeking out information on the short story format. For anyone else, the stories are compelling, but you'll find the writer interviews extremely tedious and dull.
Oct 23, 2008 rated it liked it
A great book for writers. You get 12 solid stories and interviews with their authors about their creation. While some are a bit erudite for my taste, there is much to be gleaned about the creative writing process, both the mystery and deliberation of crafting a memorable short story.
May 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recently-read
The stories were good, but the interviews with the writers were great because I got to see the techniques the writers used with varying degrees of success.
Oct 02, 2013 rated it liked it
It's always great to read interviews with authors, just to see where their head was at and what their processes are. As a writer it helps to understand all these variations on craft.
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, university
I truly enjoyed the interview portions; quite enlightening.
Oct 15, 2008 rated it liked it
So far some of the stories seem more competent and topical than enduring.
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