My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I like the book. As stated in other reviews, Bell writes a straight and to the point guide to a particular kind of short story. He’s not writing for Paris Review readers as much as he is for writers of Asimov’s Science Fiction. Description and literary wanderings aren’t his milieu. Stories that whack you upside the head are more the kind that he writes about. I think he would argue that for every 100 dollars you made selling your piece to a literary journal, he made 1,000 bucks selling to more entertaining magazines. No argument here. You’ll have to decide what you prefer. I like the more airy world of literature where how a word or phrase is used can elevate a piece.
But, any writer will be able to take away a raft of good advice here. Bell is a gifted writer and teacher. He touches on all parts of the short and offers clear advice about marketing.
He’s not for the timid soul. He doesn’t hold your hand and lead you oh-so-gently down the path to publishing. Bell strikes me as a man of action, and his help emphasizes that.
It’s a worthy book and certainly worth the minimal cost.
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