- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Revised edition (March 15, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312150946
- ISBN-13: 978-0312150945
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 53 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Creating Short Fiction: The Classic Guide to Writing Short Fiction Revised Edition
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“To those who hunger to be writers I commend this book without reservation.” ―Harlan Ellison
“What Knight doesn't know about writing the short story cannot be put into expository prose anyway.” ―Algis Budrys
“Knight is one of the preeminent teachers of writing in this country. [This book] should be considered essential for all beginning writers . . . not to mention a few others, who've forgotten the valuable information it contains.” ―Lucius Shepard, author of The Jaguar Hunter
From the Back Cover
Distilled from decades of teaching and practice, 'Creating Short Fiction' offers no-nonsense advise on structure, pacing, dialogue, getting ideas, and much more.
Top customer reviews
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For those who are unfamiliar with Knight, he was an author, an editor, and a critic. Knight was a Hugo Award winner, founder of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), cofounder of the Milford Writer's Workshop, and cofounder of the Clarion Writers Workshop. SFWA's Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement was renamed after him. In other words, Knight the real deal.
CREATING SHORT FICTION begins by describing the four stages of a writer's development. If you are not yet making sales, this list gives you an idea of how close you are. Knight then works through all the elements of writing a short story, so that you may progress from one stage to the next.
He teaches developing writers how to select and develop ideas, offering a checklist of all the elements a story must contain for it to be able to stand under its own weight. Knight then provides an annotated version of one of his short stories as an introduction behind the curtain, to see those elements at work. The remainder of CREATING SHORT FICTION helps writers decide how to begin a story; how to select and develop a character, his motivation, and his viewpoint; how to maintain a reader's attention; and how to finish a story. Always the good teacher, Knight then concludes his book by offering some advice on what writers should expect as their career develops, offering tips and highlighting traps to avoid.
Nearly every page of CREATING SHORT FICTION contains great advice that is all but guaranteed to improve the quality of your short stories. Do not mistake its brevity for lack of substance. It is a powerful tool that will reward re-reading, so long as you put Knight's advice to work.
The best writing book is one that will take you to the next level.
So what is best for me not always best for you.
But this has notes,examples, exercises for beginner to expert.
This book is the BEST book I've read to this date! I keep it next to me daily, and I've read it now at least a couple dozen times. When I get nervous; especially creatively... I break open this book, and read one chapter. The outcome: THOUGHTS FLOWING FROM MY HEART TO MY BLOOD TO MY VEINS TO MY HAND; DIRECTLY INTO MY PEN, AND ONTO THE PAGE!
I do still write ALL my stories out using the 'pen to paper' method. I think typing them directly into an electronic device... ? I have no words as to how I feel about this method, but whatever works for the writer.
There is only ONE other book that has hit me as hard and deep as this very book; I will mention it here; "Writing Down the Bones" by: Natalie Goldberg. Now, she does mention poems a lot. Nonetheless, if you replace the word poem, with story, it will all make perfect sense.
In closing: My writing studio is decorated on either side with orange sticky notes; they all contain direct quotes from this book: "Creating Short Fiction" and "Writing Down the Bones" Not only do these books instruct/teach; they also inspire, and break writer's block! Trust me; I had writer's block for also three years!!!
There's not much specifically about short story writing. It's about fiction writing in general. Unfortunately, the "short fiction" part of the title might cause aspiring novelists to exclude it from their reading list, much to their loss.
It's obvious that Knight was a well-rounded reader. He was also an editor and writing teacher. Even though Damon Knight was a master of the science fiction short story, he doesn't limit his advice or examples to just science fiction.
I was looking for a book about writing short stories. But I'm glad I found this book anyway, almost by accident.