Archive for Kurt Vonnegut

Eight Essential tips on writing a short story…via Kurt Vonnegut…

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2016 by Mj Rains

vintage typewriterKurt Vonnegut was certainly never dull…especially when giving advice to other writers. Here are his eight essential tips for a short story that I keep in mind every time my fingers stroke the keys, or my pen hits the clean white page…

  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 who 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.

For more great articles by Kurt visit Open Culture page. I’m heading for “How to Write with Style” next!

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The Purpose of Life

Posted in Writers with tags , , , , , , on April 27, 2014 by Mj Rains

Great words from a brilliant writer…

HemmingPlay

vonnegut
Oh, she says well, you’re not a poor man. You know, why don’t you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I’m going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don’t know. The moral of the story is, is we’re here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don’t realize, or they don’t care, is we’re dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we’re…

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Vonnegut was brilliant…

Posted in "Wit"icisms" with tags , , , , , , , on May 23, 2012 by Mj Rains

Portrait Perfection

Posted in Art with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2010 by Mj Rains

I’m still amazed at the mosaic portraits created by the very gifted Sandhi Schimmel Gold.  She carefully places recycled pieces of junk mail and other scraps to create these works of art. The time it must take??? Featured today are a few of her newer pieces that I love.  The second on is for you, SB…

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The Cost of Distraction: What Kurt Vonnegut Knew (via The Frailest Thing)

Posted in The Deep with tags , , , , , , , on August 22, 2010 by Mj Rains

Mezmerized by this post. (Never thought I’d re-post anything, but this is so, so good!) Visit the original post please, especially for the video trailer at the end.

The Cost of Distraction:  What Kurt Vonnegut Knew “The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal.” So begins the late Kurt Vonnegut’s 1961 short story, “Harrison Bergeron.” In 2009, Chandler Tuttle released a 25 minute film version of the story titled 2081, and you can watch the trailer at the end of this post. Vonnegut goes on to describe the conditions of this equality: They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. N … Read More

via The Frailest Thing

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