The Story Behind the Story 26 Stories by Contemporary

The Story Behind the Story 26 Stories by Contemporary

The Story Behind the Story 26 Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work ☂ [PDF / Epub] ☁ The Story Behind the Story 26 Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work By Peter Turchi ✐ – This big beautiful anthology of short fiction is for readers writers and anyone curious about the mysterious processes of literary minds All contributors have been recent faculty members of the presti This big beautiful anthology of Behind the ePUB ☆ short fiction is for readers writers and anyone curious about The Story PDF/EPUB or the mysterious processes of literary minds All contributors have been recent faculty members of the prestigious Story Behind the PDF ↠ Warren Wilson Low Residency Program including such literary favorites as Margot Livesey Charles Baxter Robert Boswell Story Behind the Story 26 Kindle - Jim Shepard Antonya Nelson David Shields and the editors themselvesEach writer was asked to submit an original story accompanied by an essay describing the challenges of the story and how they were met Since writers resist herding the editors were happily surprised by the wide range of essays—fiction writers when given the space think about their work very differently We learn about the genesis of a story how story evolves what was eventually relinuished and why and how a story—surprisingly—might insist on changingArranged alphabetically by author and beginning with Richard Russo's cogent introduction this volume is a treasure throughout.

10 thoughts on “The Story Behind the Story 26 Stories by Contemporary Writers and How They Work

  1. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    This is too good for me to have invented it but I don't know where it comes from anyone? A short story is a novel on its way to becoming a poemWell maybe Reading short stories is not everyone's favourite form of entertainment You have to do many things and you might not be bothered to do them because you only have 30 pages to do 'em in Whereas if you were in the middle of a 400 page novel you would do 'em You know like figure this deduce that love this hate that sneer bark This anthology uniuely partners each story with a couple of pages about the story by the author Unhappily these mini essays can’t help being rather too self congratulatory Of course all these authors think their included story works rather well otherwise they would not be included But still these sel back patters grate a bit For instance Margot Livesey’s “struggles” with “The Flowers of the Forest” taught her she says important lessons about fiction including the one where she learned that The familiar far fetched plot could work if the prose was sufficiently lustrous and precise and atmosphericmeaning that she thinks her story is indeed sufficiently lustrous and precise and atmospheric David Shields says that in writing his story I could call upon my strengths meditation and analysis hide my weaknesses plot and plot and be as smart on the page as I wanted to be I’d found a way to write that seemed true to how I am in the worldCharles Baxter says I am proud of itthis is a one time only story Sometimes I can’t believe I did itGet a room you shameless authors where we don’t have to watch you making sweet love with yourselvesBut still there are some corkers in here so as per usual I would urge you to read the good ones and skip the rubbish

  2. Jen Julian Jen Julian says:

    I used this anthology as a reuired text in an intermediate workshop Wanted a collection that offered short fiction paired with commentary about craft in this case from the authors themselves The commentary provided for some interesting discussions but overall many of these are middling stories by excellent authors who have produced better fiction elsewhere Some stories worked and were compelling uite a few however seemed to fall apart under the weight of their authors' objectives

  3. Chanda Prescod-weinstein Chanda Prescod-weinstein says:

    This book was a mixed bag but a great idea There’s one story by Steve Schwartz that I’m going to study There are a lot of throw away stories even though sometimes the behind the story essays about them contain interesting nuggets of insight about how stories get made The biggest problem is the whiteness of the book The editors clearly have a preference for white people writing white working class and white collar stories as if no one else in the world exists After a while the book felt repetitive like they were all telling a story from the same prompt over and over Also wow almost 500 pages

  4. Stacey Stacey says:

    Some of these stories were really great Christopher McIlroy's Jim Shepard Robert Boswell some were solid and some left me a bit cold But I liked all the essays that followed the stories and I have high hopes for using this as a course text for the upcoming beginning short story writing class I'm teaching We will see

  5. Max Mulholland Max Mulholland says:

    For a short story collection that touts itself as containing some of the best MFA faculty's works in the country this collection proved utterly disappointing There are some good stories in the collection and some truly bad stories but no great stories Given that the writers include multiple major award winners and upon noticing that the majority of the stories hadn't been published elsewhere I wonder if this was not an academics vanity project It appears to be a collection of short stories loved by the writers who wrote them but possibly no one else The essays are the better part of this collection but not worth wasting your time with many of the stories Typically I would expect the first story in a collection to be a solid offering and one of the best in the collection but not here Perhaps the editor was attempting to set the bar low If so mission successful The introductory story Strike Anywhere by Antonya Nelson was so dismally constructed as to be actually painful to read This story appears to be a first draft that was not proof read by the writer or the editor It contains a myriad of badly placed phrases horribly confusing sentences catastrophic sentence structure fragments bad grammar and pointless metaphors none of which seem to be intentional I can't believe anyone would even attach their name to such a story It's that bad The good news is the stories in the collection do improve from there but then there was only one place to go and that was upThe next few stories are better but still bad and contain typos poorly planned sentence structure misplaced phrases run ons and bad transitions but in the mix I did discover a few gems The fifth story in the collection The Varieties of Romantic Experience by Robert Cohen is essentially a monologue but it displays a strong writer's voice and is one of the best stories in the collection And then the collection goes right back to bad The next few stories contain grammatical errors unwelcome and not so clever plot twists poor POV choices and disappointing endings As you read further the collection becomes a lesson in how NOT to write Was that the point?And then you discover story number eight Ice T by Christoper McIlroy which provides an outstanding example of how to write short but effective fictionAnd then the reader once again encounters a barrage of bad and begins to brace herself for an onslaught of awkward POV choices badly drifting transition challenges horribly unbelievable characterization tediously rambling prose and overall flat writingBut of course a pattern is emerging and a few hidden gems appear Two solid stories followed by two of the most helpful essays in the collection Part of the Story by Stephen Dobbyns showcases effective plotting techniues and Morton and Lily Dredge and Fill by CJ Hribal is packed full of soid dialogue There is some slight improvement in the collection after that with a multitude of solidly mediocre stories Readable but not fantastic with a few awkward meandering works sprinkled amongst themAs the end approaches three nice examples of first person POV all written in different styles and voices show themselves The People Who Own Pianos by Kenin McIlroy Maria Elena by Debra Spark and one of the stories I enjoyed the most The Moon Over Wapakoneta by Michael Martone If you are a writer and pick up this collection looking for insight then these are the three must read stories of the anthologyThe third to last story in the collection also bears special mention for its uniue treatment of the Hindenburg disaster Love and Hydrogen by Jim Shepherd is a uniuely creative piece of historical fiction with just a whiff of romance built in to it It's one of the few stories in the collection that's well worth the read

  6. Neil Grayson Neil Grayson says:

    I used to write such astute reviews Now I find I don't really care Who were they for? For myself to document my thoughts? For you the reader who is not always me? Fuck it This is an excellent book one of my favorite studies of the craft 450 pages of short stories and essays about the experience of writing those stories Can't really go wrong A good balm for people who want another way to consider the task they so love and fear

  7. Stephen Dorneman Stephen Dorneman says:

    The stories themselves are somewhat uneven although some are truly brilliant and the accompanying essays on the varied experiences of writing them are even so but the pairings are together what make reading this collection worth your time Recommended particularly for writers but also for anyone wondering what the heck might have been going through their favorite author's mind when they wrote any given fiction

  8. Jill Jepson Jill Jepson says:

    For any writer or aspiring writer of short fiction this book is a gem Not only does it present 26 beautifully crafted stories for your reading pleasure which would be enough to make this book worth your time but it then gives us a glimpse of how each story was constructed What considerations went into the structure of the story? How did the author develop the characters? Why was this particular point of view chosen? How did the setting come into play in the writing of the story? Things most readers never think of when they're reading short stories and many new writers fail to consider when they're writing them are unveiled and clarified This book gave me new ways to think of short fiction

  9. Thomas McBryde Thomas McBryde says:

    A fantastic anthology of amazing writing from exceptional authors This book is a must read for any literary major or anyone with hopes of becoming a writer themselves one day What makes these stories great is the discussion after the story with the author The authors go into great detail about their inspirations writing style and the evolution of the stories Boasting a wide array of authors and each story having its own uniue voice The Story Behind the Story is as close as a reader can get with having the author in the room with them discussing the story with them

  10. Alison Alison says:

    I wasn't thrilled with this particular book I felt like some of the stories were written maybe even still in draft format at this point solely for the book They didn't strike me as stories that would succeed generally with the exception of A Walk in Winter the last story I think there are probably better instructive books on short story writing Better yet just go buy books of short fiction by Hemingway Fitzgerald etc

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