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How to Write a Short Story that Works Kindle Edition
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The author even provides a section on "finding material" if you're someone who struggles to think of initial ideas, but even if this isn't you - if you're full of ideas but tend to wade into treacle while actually writing (like me) - you'll certainly find this book a boon. Simple but effective tools are laid out in a no-nonsense way so that you can apply his organising principles to work already in progress or work you haven't yet begun.
I only objected to the tone, which was in places incredibly condescending, but perhaps I'm missing the author's seasoned-old-grump sense of humour. That aside, it's genuinely worth buying and is an excellent price for the content, which is substantial, even if the whole thing could have benefited from a good edit (he can repeat himself a bit).
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Too my simple amazement, I must admit that the book was so enjoyable with lots of humor included. The book made a promise, and it made it come completely true for me - how to write a short story that really works.
The writer starts by explaining a little bit about the history (and even though I thought, what the heck?) I continued reading, and was pleasantly surprised at the bit of savvy knowledge that I gained from this part. He then continues to describe what the short story is exactly, how to approach it, how to think up one, how to check that your story works, how to sit down and write, and then even how to edit.
I was quite taken aback when I realized that the text was finished - I wanted some more. So, I guess I'd just have to order some more of this writer's books.
You're paying very little money for a good weight in knowledge and practicality, and after having read this, I don't think you'd need more of this kind of book. It could be that this is the ONLY one you'd ever need to read. It's a job very well done and not technical at all. It's just a good read with a laugh or two put in at stages to make the enjoyment just so much better. Well done Mr. Allen.
I give it four stars due to my disappointment in the fact that the text was over too soon.
As I said in the beginning though, if you can slog through his clear bias against quality writing, he outlines some useful ideas and tools for short story writing.
Not one of them ever spelled it out exactly--like ingredients for a cake (a cup of this, and a spoon of that)--how to write a story.
This little book does just that. Not to mention a few reality checks along the way to keep one grounded.
I believe I learned more from this one little book than I have from all the other books on writing I've read, combined.
For the first time in my life, I came away from a book knowing the actual steps to take to write a sucessful short story.
This book will definitely be my Christmas gift to a number of my writing friends who will appreciate this little gem, as I have done.
Great job, Mr. Allen. Hats off to you, my dear fellow!
Frances, aka Alora Silverleaf