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Writing Short Fiction That Sells

by Lee Masterson

Desert Star Publishing, Limited

78 Pages

Reviewed by Beth Morrow

Copyright 2006 - All Rights Reserved


While researching information for an article on getting published, it didn't take Lee Masterson, author and owner of the Fiction Factor group of websites, long to realize that getting a story published is much different than writing that story then finding a paying market to suit that story. From the initial research question of how to get a story published, Masterson found she'd amassed more than enough information for her article--she had the makings of a book.

The results of Masterson's research, Short Fiction That Sells, and its companion Short Fiction Market Listings proves as interesting and informational as the Fiction Factor family of websites. From idea to query, definition to instruction, story element to writing exercises and markets to contests, Short Fiction That Sells answers nearly every question you've had about writing shorter pieces and where to get them published.

To make sure readers and writers are on the same page when discussing the myriad differences between various short story conventions, Masterson begins with a short but detailed review on the elements of the short story. She also delineates between the word count and expectations of four types of short stories currently in demand.

After a quick mention of where to get ideas, Masterson launches into a dynamic section dealing with short story characters. Guiding readers through a discussion of various aspects of characters, Masterson presents brief, effective writing exercises to help readers understand the importance of characterization as it applies to their own works in progress. Point of view, setting, story structure, conflict and dialogue sections complete the middle of the book and give the reader ample opportunities to incorporate each element into their stories.

The editing portion of Short Fiction That Sells leaves nothing to chance. While most novice writers think a quick spell-check solves their editing problems, Masterson gives a list of other editing options that can only enhance the final story. Grammar, structure, content and pacing are some of the elements Masterson details with accompanying exercises to strengthen the story.

Masterson rounds out the book with a brief but concise primer on formatting, submitting, query letters, contests and markets.

The accompanying Short Fiction Market Listings ebook is as informational as Short Fiction That Sells. Masterson shares short story markets from a wide variety of genres, each market with annotated descriptions and contact information for submitting those short story gems created with the help of Short Fiction That Sells.

Part instruction, part writing exercises and all helpful knowledge, Lee Masterson's latest offering is a wonderful offering to writers everywhere. Whether you're interested in getting started in short story writing or looking to market the short stories you've finished, Short Fiction That Sells and Short Fiction Markets provide excellent advice and great guidance as you pursue publication.


About the author: Beth Morrow is a nationally published freelance writer whose first love is writing romance short stories. While she's working to break through to the published ranks in fiction, her latest nonfiction article on second language learners can be found in the spring 2006 issue of the Kappa Delta Pi's New Teacher Advocate.


         Last updated: March 16, 2008