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Nascence: 17 Stories That Failed and What They Taught Me [Kindle Edition]

Tobias S. Buckell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

New York Times Bestseller Tobias S. Buckell has published 45 short stories in various magazines and anthologies. But in the process of learning how to sell those 45, he wrote over 100 short stories that failed in a variety of ways while learning the craft.

In Nascence, he reprints 17 failed stories written from 1996-2004 and details some of the major failings of the stories that led him to abandon them, and what he learned from those failures moving forward.

Nascence isn’t just a look at how stories fail, but also a look the beginnings of Buckell’s fictional worlds and the stories he was trying to tell at the very start.

Product Details

  • File Size: 426 KB
  • Print Length: 319 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #932,037 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I was lucky enough to get an advance ebook of NASCENCE, and I was blown away. Tobias Buckell's newest collection has what is probably the most unique premise I've ever heard of. He took 17 short stories he had never been able to sell, wrote introductions about why they wouldn't sell, then told readers what lessons he learned from it. The stories themselves are interesting and entertaining, too, but they're not stellar--that's the point. Readers take a journey through Buckell's training to be a writer, seeing the mistakes as he makes them, and what he did to get through the doldrums.

As a writer, I find this book every bit as useful as Stephen King's ON WRITING. The books are completely different in tone and style, but I can't think of any other books I've learned as much from. It's a look at the realities of being a writer instead of the theory behind it.

I see myself making the same mistakes in my short fiction that Tobias Buckell made, only now I have a concrete example of why that type of story doesn't work instead of parsing it all out myself. And instead of just being told "do this, not that," readers get to see exactly what "this" and "that" are. For the first time in my experience of reading about writing, the author tells me "show, don't tell" and actually shows me what that means instead of telling me. Instead of making up examples of "what not to do" or "what to do," readers get to see real examples of failure and success that led to the author becoming a professional. That alone is worth the price of the ebook.

Whether you're a writer of short fiction, a fan of short fiction, or just get interested in the behind-the-scenes work that it takes to make it as a writer, NASCENCE is worth a look.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Struggle as a Writer July 3, 2011
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I wasn't sure what to expect from Nascence. Here was a book filled with stories that the author considered failures--not appropriate for publishing. Would I read them and think they are all better than the best I can do? Would I read them and wonder how he could have written this drivel?

The commentary before each story was for more interesting than the stories themselves, because it delves into the thought process that went into the writing. It's a distant view, sometimes years after the fact, but still an amazing glimpse into the craft of writing.

As I read through the first half of the book I saw many familiar mistakes. I laughed because Tobias pointed out some of the very same things I struggled with and in some cases continue to struggle with. By the last few stories finding fault in the writing wasn't nearly as easy.

Nascence is an insightful look at the growth of one writer's talent and a showcase of perseverance, learning and self confidence. A must read for anyone who is trying to "break" into writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book on the Craft of Short Stories June 18, 2011
If you find yourself reading the author's introductions to stories as carefully as the stories themselves; if you're a writer who thinks about that mysterious thing called story, do consider this book. Tobias Buckell is offering something unique: a real insight into the mind of an author. Lessons to be learnt. Nascence has really crystallised some ideas I've been having about 'story,' and given me some new insights.

This is the most helpful book I've read on the craft of short story writing for ages.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Master Class June 21, 2011
Back in my college days my aspiring musician friends would talk about master classes, where an established pro would show them how it was done. Oddly enough, some of the best, they said, were from younger musicians, far enough along to have made it, but still not so far ahead that they had forgotten what it was like when they were still trying to grasp the basics of performance. Tobias Buckell a younger pro, has pulled his personal slush pile together with insightful commentary to give what is effect a master class in the art of the science fiction short story. This is a great collection for any aspiring writer.

So, what is in it for the reader like myself who has no intention of producing his own product? Surprisingly, quite a lot. There is a certain amount of fun in learning how the trick is done, kind of like taking the backstage tour at your favorite attraction. If you disregard than the fun of seeing what is behind the curtain, even the roughest of these stories is worth reading in its own right. We read science fiction for a lot of reasons. One of the basic ones for me is that moment where something stretches your perceptions and you say to yourself, "Whoa, that's cool." Not all of the stories work (and Buckell himself tells you why) but each of them has at least one moment where you might well go "Whoa, that's cool." Give it a read. If you don't need a master class, at least read it to see a solid writer with a great imagination learning his chops.
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