Know Your History – 11th November – Kurt Vonnegut born

know your history - writingOn this day… 11 November 1922, Kurt Vonnegut born.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American author. In a career spanning over 50 years, Vonnegut published fourteen novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, best-selling novel Slaughterhouse-Five (1969).

On Writing

Kurt Vonnegut’s tips on writing:

  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.Kurt_Vonnegut_fart
  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 hell 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.

 Did You Know?..

 Vonnegut Waged War Against the Semicolon

 Vonnegut’s vehement ruling on semicolons was “They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.” For more see this nytimes article.

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