Random Blog Post #6 – Writing Tips from the Masters
We can always learn from the masters, today we have tips from Kurt Vonnegut.
The American writer, Kurt Vonnegut blends satire, humor, and science fiction in a way that will leave you questioning what genre you just read. Classics by Vonnegut include Cat’s Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five, and one of my all-time favorites, The Sirens of Titan. And aside from these novels and more, Vonnegut has also written notable essays as A Man Without A Country, and short story collections, like from where these creative writing basics come from, Bagombo Snuff Box.
Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Basics of What He Calls Creative Writing 101
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.
Vonnegut also adds these words about my favorite writer: “The greatest American short story writer of my generation was Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964). She broke practically every one of my rules but the first. Great writers tend to do that.”
Who do you look to for writing tips?
– Nahuel F.A.