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The Art & Craft of the Short Story

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  114 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In his highly personal and compelling style, DeMarinis shares advice, classic examples and exercises in this definitive book on the short story.
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Story Press Books
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  114 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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Steven
May 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: writing
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
Marc
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Picked this up on a whim at the library when I saw it on the shelves. It far exceeded my expectations--quite an enjoyable read with some wonderful examples, concrete advice, and multiple admissions that a lot of writing is sitting down and doing the hard work of writing (there are no shortcuts or secrets or special formulas). DeMarininis starts out with the confession that despite having written 100s of short stories, taught short-story writing for years, and had his work published, he still doe ...more
Colin
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it
A highly idiosyncratic look at . . . well, what it says on the tin. The art and craft of the short story. I picked it up from my local library because it caught my eye, and because I feel the need to do a degree of "professional development reading" every once in a while - particularly when I'm not getting any writing done. As I write this, I'm a few weeks into a new teaching job, and between that and my family responsibilities, I am unable to write much right now. So, I'm reading about writing ...more
Andrea
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was incredibly helpful for me and it really challenged me to write outside my comfort zone and start crafting more short stories (which is what I wanted). For many years, I've had many "short story ideas" but I've been filing them away because I struggle with writing short stories (to be fair, I struggled with reading short stories too but that is something that is changing about my reading habits and I am learning to love the craft and to want to engage more in it). If you are someone ...more
Sydney
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you’re looking into getting this book because you’re trying to become a better writer then don’t bother. The only way that this book is going to be able to help you in that sense is repeatedly telling you to write as much and as often as possible (practice makes perfect right?), which is a task that should already be on your “To-Do List” if you want to become a writer.

If you’re looking into getting this book because you want to feel inspired to write, then I’d say this book is worth your tim
...more
Rhonda Browning
Jan 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Richard Magahiz
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
The short story in English is an especially protean type of expression which can cause fits for those who try to define how it is supposed to work. The author's humility in taking this task on is admirable, and so is the more modest strategy of talking about the different aspects of craft by using examples from stories both real and fake. Someone who is really just coming to the idea of writing stories for the first time will probably be baffled by the lack of a simple statement of what makes a ...more
malrubius
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
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. ...more
Thomas Edmund
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-on-writing
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. ...more
Gavin Breeden
Dec 14, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
John Hanson
Oct 31, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Amy Saunders
Oct 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Intermediate short story writers.
Shelves: writing-craft
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.
Nick
May 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Good for those just getting their feet wet. Contains some interesting exercises and tips, but it lacked somewhat when it came to technical craft elements. Not bad though.
Hannah
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book on the craft of the short story, but filled with useful advice for fiction writers in general.
Jessica
Jan 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: rereading, on-writing
Read this a zillion years ago as an undergrad; digging it out again for a re-read.
Elvira Baryakina
Aug 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Ничего особого. Все то же самое написано в десятках аналогичных книг.
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Rick DeMarinis (1934-) is an American novelist and short-story writer.

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