Brevity: A Flash Fiction Handbook by David Galef

Review published on September 19, 2017.

This is one for my fellow writers. Brevity is a guide to writing short-form fiction, flash fiction really. It’s not really a form I’m familiar with, as an aspiring writer I’m much more focused on writing novel length work. That said, we all need to edit, to be concise in our wordsmithery. In that vein, the same techniques that can be used for flash fiction can be utilised in writing longer, narrative fiction, namely of brevity, hence the title.

David Galef’s book dedicates a chapter to various forms of short/flash fiction, from vignettes and anecdotes to soliloquies. Then there’s the stuff aimed more for people like myself, writers of longer form fiction. So there’s a chapter on character sketches, another on settings, there’s even a chapter on surrealism.

As with many books of this ilk – e.g. writing guides – there are examples and exercises at the end of each chapter to help you refine the art. All in all, this is a good book which will help writers of all stripes to either produce short/flash fiction or edit their work more effectively. I recommend this book heartily – oh, and if you’re wondering why this review is so short, I’m practising!

James Pierson 5/1

Brevity: A Flash Fiction Handbook by David Galef
Columbia University Press 9780231179690 pbk Dec 2016


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