inspiration, from a dead writer, and why not?

This is my 994th post.

By weeks end, I’ll hit 1000. It won’t really matter, 1000 is only a number (and when compared to national budget figures, it’s truly insignificant).

Writing can be very hard for some people. To them, I say there is only one true way to improve- write more. Your voice will come.

I just stumbled upon a quote from one of my favorite authors, and thought I’d share:

Kurt Vonnegut: Eight rules for writing fiction:

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.

— Vonnegut, Kurt Vonnegut, Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons 1999), 9-10.

via Kurt Vonnegut — troubling.info.

I write esrati.com first for me- it gives me a way to “make love to the world” as Kurt so beautifully puts it. Hopefully, we no longer have to worry about the cockroaches eating the last pages- since this is all digital. Of course, if we do have a thermo-nuclear war, the cockroaches may be all that’s left. They will be very hungry cockroaches, because all our writing will have gone *poof* into the ether, forever gone- as the EMP will wipe the harddrives from here to Kalamazoo, or wherever Kurt now is, may he RIP.

And, always, root for the underdog.

Thank you Kurt, and you, my reader. Hopefully, your time has not been wasted.

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2 Responses

  1. In the 'burg June 28, 2009 / 11:16 pm
    I once thought very highly of someone who loved Vonnegut.  So as a surprise for my friend, I got up one winter morning at 5, drove to Indianapolis and stood in line for 3 hours in sub-zero weather to get tickets for a lecture he was giving at Butler University.

    What happened when I got back to Dayton would make a really good book, except it’s so over the top (see point number 6) that no one would believe it’s non-fiction— and the lead character would probably sue me for defamation.

    Anyway, I was actually a little relieved when Vonnegut died before the big night so we didn’t have to attend after all.  I still have the tickets though. They are a great reminder of why point number 5 is the most important one of all.

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