Sunday, August 26, 2012

How to Write a Short Story - A Review

I periodically stop by Joe Bunting's Write Practice blog, which as the title suggests, is a spot designed to  keep writers churning out words. I was, thus,  pleased to receive a review copy of his new e-book Let's Write A Short Story, which is just hitting the downloadable realm.

Flipping through the electronic pages I could quickly see it's a great and concise guide for understanding what a short story is, how to craft one, and how to fight writer's block. Who could ask for more?

Beginners need the first two, and seasoned keyboardmeisters sometimes need help with the third.

Bunting also offers an interesting argument in his opening for the short story as laboratory. That's what I found most interesting, and he substantiates his ideas with compelling evidence. Chiefly, Hemingway.

In the Nick Adams stories, Bunting contends Hemingway explored character territory that later turned up in many of his lead characters including Santiago in The Old Man and the Sea. That suggests a short story can be a place to develop ideas and themes for whatever longer work you have the burner.

As mentioned, the book is not short on writing advice. Bunting breaks down the role of plot, character and length in the short story and looks at when it's possible to break the rules. He also throws in a generous offering of writing prompts to explore themes such as death and more.

It's a great guide for writing with an inspirational tone, so it's well worth a look.

Additionally, Bunting is planning a Let's Write A Short Story community, so this effort looks like an interesting experiment in numerous ways.


Charles Gramlich said...

Cool, thanks for the heads up. I'm always looking for good books on writing, for myself and to bring stuff to my students. I'll check it out.

Sure wish they'd give me a phrase I could actually read. 3rd attempt.

Fourth attempt.

Sidney said...

It's great for students, I believe. Yeah, I hate those gotcha er captcha phrases.

Kate Sterling said...

Thanks for sharing. I just clicked from your page to buy, so hopefully, you'll get that click paid. :)

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