“Shaping the Story: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Short Fiction” by Mark Baechtel

"Shaping the Story: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Short Fiction" by Mark Baechtel

"Shaping the Story teaches beginning fiction writers to hone their craft with a unique, step-by-step approach to writing a short story.

Stepping students through an interlocking set of twelve easy-to-follow exercises, Shaping the Story helps the beginning fiction writer understand the ways a short story changes and grows as it moves from its often-vague beginnings through a satisfying ending. As students step through the process, they learn about development of theme, point of view, voice, setting, character, dialogue, scene, plot, the treatment of time, and the crafting of satisfying endings.

The text also offers an additional 48 skill-building exercises–four per chapter–plus an anthology of thirteen carefully chosen stories, which, through reading and analysis, will bring the book's lessons vividly to life."