Apr. 15th, 2007


Apr. 15th, 2007 02:22 pm
Kurt Vonnegut Jr passed away a couple of days ago. If you don't know who he is, you need to look him up on Wikipedia. He was a great writer, and lived an interesting life. He might have been 84, but somehow, I think he had a whole lot left in him. 
If you haven't read Cat's Cradle or Slaughterhouse Five, you should. The kind of writing that makes you think. 

I appreciated his sense of humor, and the following in particular, made me laugh.  Especially rule #8.

On pages 9 and 10 of his book Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction, Vonnegut listed eight rules for writing a short story:

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.


Apr. 15th, 2007 04:10 pm

Cuz this makes me giggle.


Rosemary Kegler

February 2009

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