Thursday, September 10, 2015

Let's Write a Short Story (Joe Bunting)

Let's Write a Short Story
Joe Bunting
The Write Practice
Nonfiction, Writing
**+ (Bad/Okay)

DESCRIPTION: A quick guide to writing short stories, from what short stories are through the submission process.

REVIEW: As the title states, this is a guide to writing short stories, with a little information on flash fiction (1000 words or fewer.) Bunting intends his advice for all genres, but has a particular focus on "literary" fiction... which, apparently, requires no actual understanding of what literary fiction is, so long as one can mimic specific style points such as alliteration and sentence length. He also has no qualms with simultaneous submissions (submitting the same stories to more than one magazine or outlet at a time) even when guidelines for a market specifically disallow them, considering it an undue burden on the writer to have a story in limbo until an editor says yea or nay. Just don't tell them, he suggests. This completely ignores the troubles this would cause editors if more than one bought the story (I have read of this actually happening), and the obvious alternative of just writing more stories to submit, so even if one is in limbo others are making the rounds. These weren't the only suggestions in Bunting's book to strike a sour chord with me, running counter to most other writing guides and basic common sense. Some of what he says may have merit, and the appendix of suggested markets at the end may be useful if one doesn't have access to this information elsewhere, but the rest was off-putting enough to prevent even an Okay rating.

You Might Also Enjoy:
Schaum's Quick Guide to Writing Short Stories (Margaret Lucke) - My Review
Writers Write (William Meikle) - My Review
Write Good or Die (Scott Nicholson, editor) - My Review

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