11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A Gem of a Book,
This review is from: Short Circuit: A Guide to the Art of the Short Story (Salt Guides for Readers and Writers) (Paperback)
This is not a 'How to' book, it does not tell you everything you think you want to hear, but shows you everything you need to know as a reader or writer of short stories. It doesn't give a definitive 'this is the way to do it' set of instructions either, but lays bare the contrasting approaches to short story writing that writers of many persuasions employ; and what writers they are too. Gathered here are award winning ones: recipients of The Bridport Prize, The National Short Story Prize, The Fish Short Story competition amongst others. Reading what they have to say about short story writing is like finding the key to the door you've always wanted to look behind; you won't be disappointed.
What each of them has to say is illuminating, thought provoking, informative and covers areas such as structure, endings, setting, theme, originality. There are also exercises, suggestions on where to go next, great examples of the form, reference books and so on. It is an intelligent, thoughtful work edited by a deft hand, (something which some of our contemporary fiction could do with more of), which makes it one of those precious 'must haves'. I find it invaluable and have bought a copy for a friend too. Really, if you write short stories, (or are thinking about it), you'd be mad to be without it.