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Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Rules for Writing:

If you don’t know who Kurt Vonnegut is, take a mo to have a quick read of his bio. He was, in his own way, an incredibly influential writer during the 20th century.

His quotes are also fantastic and you can find a huge selection here

Kurt sadly passed away in 2007 but his 8 Rules for Writing remain a bedrock of writing teaching today. They are incredibly good pieces of advice and the new writer ignores them a their peril!

  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. Now 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.

 

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