3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2010
I had heard about this through an acquaintance and bought it because I love short stories but have never been able to write one I really liked. Understanding the underlying systemic structure of the short story (or essay really) has definitely helped me to structure my writing in a much more interesting way. I can map out my stories so that they are more dynamic, more exciting and yet I feel I know what I am doing a lot better instead of waiting for inspiration to provide the structure and the twists. I have also found that I can much more easily create an outline for a longer and more complex stories that are much tighter than my earlier attempts.
I'm glad it is a Kindle book so that I can find it because my high school age daughter has been using it to increase her writing skill. If this hadn't been a Kindle book I'm certain that she would have squirreled it away where I couldn't find it. Thank heavens for small favors. She loves what "The Secret DNA of Analyzing Short Stories" is teaching her. I must admit that her writing has gotten markedly better and she comes up with better ideas on her own for her writing. All and all, a great tool for anyone wanting to get a better handle on the structure of a great short story. It really does make the writing much easier for me with a better final story to boot.
on December 24, 2013
This book will help both readers and writers of short stories. The book is essentially a guide for students who must write essays about short stories. It is a course, not just a string of vague criteria. You will analyze 10 stories. By the time you are finished you will find it more enjoyable to read stories you may have avoided before, write intelligently about a story you've read or even write your own story.
In my case The Outcasts of Poker Flats is not a story I would have chosen myself, having a preconceived idea that it's just a "western". That story is now part of my DNA. From now on, I will only reject a story after I've read it.
If you write or want to write short stories, this method will be a guide to planning it from beginning to end without being locked in to only one or two options. Later in the book you will delve more into the specifics of the various ways each author used other elements to drive the story home.
on December 6, 2012
This book blew me away! For so long I've read stories and couldn't really nail down why they worked, or why they didn't. After reading this book, I began to look at Short Stories in a whole new way, and I was excited! Once you learn the concept, you can put it into action right away. I'm on my third reading now, but this time I'm going carefully over the short story examples and I'm following along. The best part about this book was that I was able to take examples NOT in the book, and pick out what the views were with accuracy. If I had read this back when I was in high school, English Lit wouldn't have been so painful to get through, and I would have finished those book reports and essays without pulling out my hair over all the guessing I did. Kudos to the author for such a great book!