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Short Stories and How to Write Them
 
 

Short Stories and How to Write Them [Kindle Edition]

Kathleen McGurl
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

This book is for both writers and readers of women’s magazine short stories.

Kathleen McGurl has sold dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. This book contains sixteen of her stories, most of which were previously published in women’s magazines. Each one is used to spark off discussion topics which will help you think about what makes a successful short story for this market.

The book includes advice on:

- how to create great characters
- the importance of setting
- how to structure your story
- dealing with rejection and writer’s block
- how to find time to write
- and much more

** Second edition - two extra stories and further discussion added **

About the Author

Kathleen McGurl lives in Bournemouth with her husband and younger son, her elder son having flown the nest. She always wanted to write, and for many years was waiting until she had the time. Eventually she came to the bitter realisation no one would pay her for a year off work to write a book, so she sat down and started to write one anyway. Since then she has sold dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. These days she is concentrating on longer fiction, and is currently trying to find an agent for her full-length time-slip novel, while also writing another in the same genre. She works full time in the IT industry and when she’s not writing, she’s often out running, slowly.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4446 KB
  • Print Length: 125 pages
  • Publisher: Kathleen McGurl; 2 edition (10 Oct 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FT67LAM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,621 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Kathleen McGurl lives in Bournemouth with her husband and teenage sons. She always wanted to write, and for many years was waiting until she had the time. Eventually she came to the bitter realisation that no one would pay her for a year off work to write a book, so she sat down and started to write one anyway. Since then she has sold dozens of short stories to women's magazines. These days she is concentrating on longer fiction, and is currently completing her second full length novel. She works full time in the IT industry and when she's not writing, she's often out running, slowly.

Website: kathleenmcgurl.com
Twitter: @KathMcGurl

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By Sally Zigmond VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Short stories come in all shapes and sizes. For readers and writers there is no such thing as good or bad when we're talking about style. Quality is what always counts. (To illustrate my point, I enjoy opera but loathe opera singers who try to sing pop or rock. It makes me cringe.) Those who prefer literary fiction find stories published in women's magazines trivial. Those who love magazine stories believe literary short stories are boring and have no beginning, middle or end (ie no plot) and probably obscene. It's horses for courses.

As an avid reader and book reviewer as well as a writer I like both types. It all depends on how I'm feeling; whether I need a change or I want something to pass a train journey or to relax after a hard day's work. I have written both and believe me, writing for the women's magazine market is much tougher than many think - especially those who believe they can scribble one off in half an hour and sent it to the editor and bingo! A fat cheque for anything from £60 to £250 depending on the magazine. (The more an editor gets to know you and the more you give her what, the higher the fee.) If you think this, then think again.

KathMcGurl makes it clear in the strap-line that "Short Stories and How to Write Them" is aimed specifically at the UK women's magazine market. I have many such books on my shelves and downloaded my Kindle. However, there are only three or four I would consider a "must have." This one has gone straight to the top of the pile.

As well as really helpful tips and advice, Kath includes examples of some of her own published stories: not because she wants to show off. She expects us to read them critically and work out where they fit in the various types of stories editors like.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So well structured 12 Oct 2013
By Emmsy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've read and recommended McGurl's other How To book on ghost stories, praising it for its thoughtful structure, and I'm pleased to say this guide follows the same pattern. The style is friendly and down to earth, and the teaching method of interspersing published magazine stories with analyses and with short chapters on the broader aspects of storytelling is nothing short of brilliant. Such a helpful way of demonstrating issues such as setting, theme, shape and character! Women's magazines are a difficult market to crack, but because McGurl has had solid success in this field, she knows what works and what doesn't. A must-read if you want to write and sell stories to this market.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful 6 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a "must read" book for anyone writing fiction for women's magazines. Kathleen McGurl takes us through the structure and characteristics of the short story for women's magazine, and uses published examples of her own stories to illustrate the particular points she is making. She doesn't overwhelm the reader with too much information at once, instead going over one aspect of short story writing, illustrating it with a pertinent short story, then discussing that story in the light of the point she is making - she shows us how to write womag rather than tells us, and I think this is a great strength of her book.

I liked her stance on "rules", particularly regarding "show & tell", and ironing.

I will refer to it often.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as sliced bread 24 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having been a writer for many years I've never conquered the Woman's Magazine market. Having read this little book -I know why. This is a blessing for newbies and old timers alike. Plain simple language and explanations cover each of the author's stories and how she gauged the presentation; where the ordinary events of life gave her the inspiration and many hints of her success in this very competitive market. I thoroughly recommend this e book. - a joy to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sound advice 21 May 2014
Format:Paperback
Generously packed with stories, as well as wise advice on how to master the art of writing them for the women's magazine market, this book is a perfect guide from a highly successful exponent of the craft.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOW TO AVOID THE SLUSH PILES 8 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If your submissions nearly always become rejections this is a really great book with lots of information that will help you avoid the publishers slush pile. Many points are not obvious to the ‘young’ writer but this book will arm you with the knowledge to become a flourishing womag writer. Besides general points and guidelines there are approximately fourteen of the authors stories printed in the book that have previously been published in magazines. At the end of each story there is a valuable discussion and the author’s explanation as to why she thinks the story was successful. Hopefully if you read and take guidance from this excellent book you will find success - and not rejections!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 8 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'd recommend this book to both novice and experienced writers. I'm only half way through, but it has already prompted me to buy Kathleen's other book on how to write ghost stories. I've sold a few stories to small press magazines and one national, but still lack in confidence, feeling, once I finish one, I'll never be able to write another story. This short story book is proving to be a real inspiration. Using examples of her own stories, Kathleen examines why a story works, its structure, the type of stories magazines want and how she gets inspiration from all sorts of sources. I've got several books on novel and story writing and I've nearly completed my third online writing course, but I'm learning as much from this one book - it's worth its weight in gold (okay - cliche, but very true!)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit like the curates egg
Bit like the curates egg...good in parts. Not sure that this book is any more helpful than others in the 'How To' genre. However, I did find some helpful tips and advice. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Mrs McGregor
4.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book as I plan to write stories to ...
I really enjoyed this book as I plan to write stories to womags myself next year. I particularly liked that Kathleen added some of her stories in the book then discussed as to why... Read more
Published 17 days ago by Julie Day
4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Gem
I'd recommend this little gem to any budding, aspiring and established writers aiming to be published in Womags. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs Chris Heyward
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good indeed!
Have read a number of books on this subject? This has got to be the best! Very helpful advice presented in a very clear and understated way. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Des Parry
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ideal 'How To Write Short Stories' Book
As a newly published writer myself, I'm always searching for advice on style and improving my techniques. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Alan Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book!
I found this book a really excellent guide to anyone interested in writing stories for a living. Its very readable with some of the authors own stories offered as a critique on... Read more
Published 8 months ago by spabbygirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Helpful
This book is packed full of useful tips as well as some delightful short stories to enjoy. Kathleen McGurl gives straightforward, accessible advice in a friendly and chatty style -... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Alice Parrant
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book for writers of short stories.
I have been writing short stories for a few years and I am always on the lookout for new books that tackle this subject. I wasn't disappointed with Kath's book. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Julie Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Just like her last book on how to write ghost stories, this is accessible, well written and informative. A good addition to any writer's library. Kathleen McGurl knows her stuff.
Published 10 months ago by Della Galton
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and Straightforward
Very clear, no-nonsense, practical advice by a successful author. Both useful and inspirational, I have already put it to good use in my own writing project.
Published 10 months ago by Medea
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