Brevity: A Flash Fiction Handbook
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Brevity represents a useful addition to the range of current creative writing texts, combining an anthology of flash fiction with an analysis of the subcategories within the form and writing exercises that will inspire students. Galef's witty, welcoming tone will appeal to beginning and intermediate writers. Often, I felt so inspired by the prompts that I wanted to sit down at my computer and try the exercises myself. -- Eileen Pollack, author of A Perfect Life: A Novel
Brevity is a thorough introduction to the form, offering a variety of strategies for composition, as well as a wide-ranging, international anthology linked to each chapter's focus. A relentlessly generative, eclectic, instructive, entertaining, and motivational text. -- Michael Martone, author of The Flatness and Other Landscapes
Galef is an excellent writer, and the book throughout is a delight―he makes the reader want to immediately start writing.... He provides deft insights and suggestions on editing... and he suggests techniques that work well when applied to a small text. Best of all, each chapter provides examples of great flash fiction―from authors as different as Saki and Steve Martin―as well as ideas for readers to explore., Publishers Weekly
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The book does contain some good tips for flash fiction writers and would be a good tool for someone looking to experiment with different styles.
Compressed writing is magical!
Great truths are often best expressed--revealed--in short and simple prose. Poetry, too.
Packed with tips, tactics and all the fundamentals, Galef's "Brevity" gets the job done.
I’m new to flash fiction, and I found this book to be interesting and useful. There are numerous explanations, examples, and exercises, making it helpful to learn how to navigate this popular form of writing.
Galef’s book is divided into subjects/sections, which includes: vignettes, character sketches, fables, prose poems, dialogue/rants/riffs/themes, setting, twists, and vanishing point, among others. A bibliography of books, publishers, websites, and zines is also included. The chapters include flash fiction examples to illustrate each point, as well as exercises for the user to try. I haven’t tried many yet, but I look forward to doing so.
Top international reviews
The only thing I didn't like much about the book were the exercises. I'm not sure if the author was told to put some exercises in so they were an afterthought or if it's just that exercises aren't something that thrill me. While the stories and what the author said about the various types of flash fiction were inspiring and made me want to write, the exercises didn't. They seemed a bit dull and more about the surface aspects of flash, not about the deeper parts of the writing. But what I found dull, others might like and the exercises don't affect the deeper meat of the book.
Also contains a very useful bibliography and clickable index.
Some of the example stories are going to stick with me for a long time and I think that can only be helpful for my writing. And this is a book that I am going to read and reread.
1. Very informative
2. Broad scope
3. Great illustrative stories
4. Light and humerous
(In the interest of brevity, point 5 has been omitted.)