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Let's Write a Short Story: How to Write and Submit a Short Story Paperback – June 1, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 217 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joe Bunting is a professional ghostwriter, writer, and editor. He is the publishers of The Write Practice, a daily online writing workbook twice named as a Top 10 Blog for Writers. He lives in the foothills of the Appalachians with his wife and son.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: The Write Practice (June 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988449706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988449701
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter D. Williams on September 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book sings with good intentions. It's designed to embolden the uncertain first-timer to write, and that's great. But if you're expecting more than a handful of advice specific to the crafting of short stories (something I, at least, felt I was led to expect from the title), this way lies disappointment.

The book feels short, structurally uneven, and at times cobbled together. A good example of the latter being when, three quarters of the way through the book, the section "How to Get the Most of Your Stories" inexplicably builds an argument that, as a /novelist/, you should consider writing /short stories/ to build a platform to promote your /novel/. I found this disconnect from both the earlier chapters and the section heading... disorienting. Weren't we talking about short stories? I'm sorry to say it, but it felt like the passage was being recycled from a blog post without being sufficiently reworked.

It should also be noted that something in the tone of the section "8 Literary Techniques of Prize-Winning Stories" feels almost... tongue-in-cheek. It's as if Bunting /knows/ that advising young writers to "have a wide scope", "write long sentences", and "make... allusion[s] to the Bible [and] Moby Dick" in hopes of lending /literary merit/ to their works is a little ridiculous, but... he's decided to do it anyway.

I do think the writer's heart is in the right place, but I'd wait to read this one until it's been either A) retitled to better reflect its contents (provided you're interested in them) or B) reworked to include more than the three short chapters that actually address the proposed subject matter: /writing a short story/. Possibly the best approach would be to rework and tighten the three chapters that stick to the subject matter, and reduce the price. It's on their merits that the book warrants three stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you need to get pumped up and ready to go to write a short story, this book is great. But if you want to know much about how to write and useful tips and techniques, this book falls short. Sure it has a bit, but its very light and basic.

It's a quick read though... and I did enjoy it. Given the low price, it's worth it I'd say.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I (virtually) bumped into Joe Bunting via Jeff Goins looking for ways to reignite my passion for writing. As a seasoned marketing copywriter I can whip up an emotional buy response in a heartbeat, but I felt like the heart of that pen was weakening.

Let's Write a Short Story was the right medicine. I grabbed Joe's book on my day of rest (Bunting advocates the practice) from writing and producing, and gave it a quick read. After my read--actually several times during--I was ready to lay down the book (my Kindle, truth be told) and start writing my first short story. I'm not kidding...I started two new notes in my Evernote, one for each of the ideas sparked from reading this book: "Death Without Salvation" and "The Decision."

Joe Bunting grabbed me with his ability to jolt me into action, using a tight blend of practical advice and butt-kicking motivation. I'd never really considered, much less had the confidence, to publish a short story. I'm pretty sure I will. Reading this book will do you the same!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I am not a writer.

At least that's what I thought before Joe and his tribe of fellow writers started ganging up on me attempting me to convice me otherwise. "Let's Write a Short Story" is the newest quality work driving towards this end. Loaded with more advice than a Sunday lunch conversation with grandma, this book will easily do one of three things for you and your writing development --

If you're already working on developing as a writer, you will gain practical (very practical!) next steps on moving your work forward and expanding your craft.

If you're not sure about this whole thing, you should manage to find a good amount of help in getting the ball rolling. One of my favorite parts of Joe's work with The Write Practice is his "writing prompt" resource. This book doesn't just tell you what should happen, it sets the table with a prompt to get you going as well.

If you're totally clueless about writing, the process, and why you should even bother, you ought to leave this book with enough inspiration to get out and get at it. The references to others - famous and non - will kick up your heartbeat and inspire you to grab for a pencil and move.

If you're not a writer - like me - let me encourage you to get over your own pre-existing excuses and grab this book. We all have a story to tell. You are a writer. Maybe you just don't know it yet.
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Format: Kindle Edition
First off, I'd like to say that I feel the title sells the book short. It gives the impression that all you're going to find in the book is a lesson on how to write a good short story. You will find those basics in the book, but that is really only a portion of what the book is about.

One of the main focuses in the book is the value of writing short stories. Not only are short stories marketable, they are also valuable for the improvement of your writing skills and the building of a platform or following for a writer.

The recycling of unfinished novels into short stories was one of my favorite parts of the book. He talked about finding chapters or smaller portions of one of those books you've started but not finished that can become a short story in itself. You might even create a whole series of related stories.

Bunting also includes plenty of resources and instruction regarding submitting your stories to literary magazines for publishing.

The book is an easy, quick read with just over 140 pages, plus a dozen or so pages of resources in the back of the book. He really covers every thing you need to know about writing, editing and submitting short stories, but the area of the book that I enjoyed the most was the Introduction. So, don't skip the introduction.

You'll find gems like this:

"It's fine to write as a hobby. Writing is fun. However, if you just write what you feel like you will improve a lot slower than you will if you "test" yourself by constantly submitting your work for publication."

"The benefit of writing short stories is that they allow you to get rejected sooner. If you write a novel, it could take years for your work to be rejected. With short stories, you could be rejected in weeks. Rejection is the best teacher you can have. You will learn more about writing from having your work rejected than from a years worth of writing courses."

Good stuff!
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