April 12th, 2007

writing literature vonnegut

the leaded window opened to move the dancing candleflame

Copycatted via scarlettina, but worth quoting:

Some writing advice by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. on the subject of short stories, from Bagombo Snuff Box:

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.

*which is to say, create or resolve tension. --Bear

muppetology need bears fozzie & kermit

(no subject)

re: the New York to London meme?

Be creative, guys. Enter your own home town and a foreign destination and see what happens.

For example, here are the directions from my house to Moscow.

Sadly, it only works for European/North American travel. You can't get to Perth from here by car.