Joseph McCormack’s “Brief” is a comprehensive guide to writing short stories. The book is divided into four chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of the craft. McCormack provides readers with practical advice on how to create compelling characters, develop a strong plot, and use language to convey meaning. He also offers insights into the art of revision and how to get published.
Chapter 1: The Art of Characterization
In the first chapter, McCormack discusses the importance of characterization in short stories. He emphasizes the need to create characters that are complex and realistic, with motivations and desires that drive the plot forward. McCormack provides readers with exercises to help them develop their characters and offers tips on how to avoid common pitfalls.
Chapter 2: The Craft of Plotting
The second chapter focuses on the art of plotting. McCormack explains that a good plot should have a clear beginning, middle, and end, with a series of events that build tension and lead to a satisfying resolution. He also emphasizes the importance of pacing and structure, and offers advice on how to create a plot that keeps readers engaged from beginning to end.
Chapter 3: The Power of Language
In the third chapter, McCormack explores the role of language in short stories. He emphasizes the need to use language to convey meaning and create a mood, and offers tips on how to use dialogue, description, and imagery to enhance the story. McCormack also discusses the importance of using language to reveal character and advance the plot.
Chapter 4: The Art of Revision
The final chapter of “Brief” focuses on the art of revision. McCormack explains that revision is an essential part of the writing process, and offers tips on how to revise effectively. He also provides readers with exercises to help them identify areas of their story that need improvement and offers advice on how to make revisions that strengthen the story.
Overall, “Brief” is an excellent resource for anyone interested in writing short stories. McCormack’s practical advice and exercises make it easy for readers to apply his tips to their own work, and his insights into the art of revision are particularly valuable. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, “Brief” is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their craft.