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|1||Writing a Short Story - Getting Started||1|
|2||Characters - How to Create People Who Live and Breathe on the Page||21|
|3||Conflict - How to Devise a Story That Readers Won't Want to Put Down||55|
|4||Plot and Structure - How to Shape Your Story and Keep It Moving Forward||69|
|5||Setting and Atmosphere - How to Bring Readers into a Vivid Story World||99|
|6||Narrative Voice - How to Develop Your Individual Voice As a Writer||121|
|App. A||Suggested Reading - Exploring the Realm of Short Stories||143|
|App. B||When Your Story Is Written - A Quick Guide to Submitting Manuscripts for Publication||147|
|App. C||How to Format Your Manuscript||153|
Posted September 28, 2004
I have a collection of ten 'How To' write books and 'Writing Great Short Stories' may be the best of the lot. I usually recommend the Gotham Writers' Workshop's 'Writing Fiction', but in some ways this book is better. Margaret Lucke is concise and precise, where other books tend to lecture or otherwise be wordy. Quite simply, she guides the writer through the Big Four of fiction writing: Character, Plot, Setting and Conflict. Then explains other elements like POV, Voice and Structure, etc. Ms. Lucke, a professional writer and educator, knows the writing scene, first-hand. She even includes an example of how to submit a professional manuscript to editors and publishing houses. However, if the naughty ol' cliché, 'You tell the book by its cover' needs proof, this book is it. The garish cover is distracting and embarrassing. The book should be sandwiched between 'How To Tune Up Your SUV' and 'Build Bigger & Better Birdhouses' in the Hobbies Section. Serious writing students won't pick this book up -- it's UGLY! ( I cut the cover off my copy ) Ms. Lucke has created a silk purse in a sow's ear. Oops -- that's another cliché . . .
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