With increased compression, every word, every sentence matters more. A writer must learn how to form narratives around caesuras and crevices instead of strings of connections, to move a story through the symbolic weight of images, to master the power of suggestion.
With elegant prose, deep readings of other writers, and scaffolded writing exercises, The Art of Brevity takes the reader on a lyrical exploration of compact storytelling, guiding readers to heighten their awareness of not only what appears on the page but also what doesn’t.
What a what wonderful book for writers and readers of short stories! Part craft, part meditation on form, it’s entirely delightful, practical, and will leave any reader with a deeper appreciation of flash fiction.
Absolutely essential reading on the power and craft of very short stories. Worth it for the brilliant analysis of narrative and poetics, worth it for Faulkner’s playfulness and obvious joy on the page, worth it for the string of fascinating quotations at the end. A generous book, packed full, it is bound to be a classic.
—Deb Olin Unferth
I’m this manic world of noise and delirium our ability to comprehend reality bends towards chaos. In brief cracks of lucidity we scramble, hungry to purchase happiness or at least consciousness. This text is a mighty testament to the zeitgeist, an important recognition of flash as art and a needle into our self awareness, reflection and clarity.
Grant Faulkner, one of our finest practitioners of the very short story, gifts us with this creative, dynamic craft book. The Art of Brevity is absorbing, whimsical, and filled with the eclectic wisdom of writers, artists, and musicians who have created with an aesthetic of brevity and omission. But finally, it is Faulkner’s unique, personal view on the subject of condensing short prose—as he telescopes into the fascinating “cracks and crevices” of brevity—that makes this book a must for every writer’s shelf.
—Tara Lynn Masih