Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Tips on Writing a Short Story

Kurt Vonnegut on Writing a Short Story

  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.
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Poem by Thomas Moore

The bird, let loose in Eastern skies,
When hastening fondly home,
Ne’er stoops to earth her wing, nor flies
Where idle warblers roam.
But high she shoots through air and light
Above all low delay,
Where nothing earthly bounds her flight,
Nor shadow dims her way.

So grant me, God, from every care,
And stain of passion free,
Aloft, through Virtue’s purer air,
To hold my course to Thee!
No sin to cloud—no lure to stay
My soul, as home she springs;—
Thy sunshine on her joyful way,
Thy freedom in her wings!

Thomas Moore

 

A Poem of Hope by Longfellow

I saw the long line of the vacant shore
The sea-weed and the shells upon the sand,
And the brown rocks left bare on every hand,
As if the ebbing tide would flow no more,
Then heard I, more distinctly than before,
The ocean breathe and its great breast expand,
And hurrying came on the defenceless land
The insurgent waters with tumultuous roar.
All thought and feeling and desire, I said,
Love, laughter, and the exultant joy of song
Have ebbed from me forever! Suddenly o’er me
They swept again from their deep ocean bed
And in a tumult of delight, and strong
As youth, and beautiful as youth, upbore me.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Excerpt From
The Optimist’s Good Morning

Today’s Quote on New Ways of Thinking

In order to grow we must be open to new ideas…new ways of doing things… new ways of thinking.

George Raveling

Something to Think About

It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Do you have a dream?

Is your dream strong enough to pull you into tomorrow?

Is your dream powerful enough to give you the strength to overcome all the difficulties you’ll face to acquire it?

What is your dream? Leap into the unknown and go for it. Turn your dream into a reality.

If you fail, learn from it. If you stumble, get up, shake it off, and start over again and again.

Never Quit – Never Give Up