October 29, 2013

More Advice

Remember that post when I went on a rant about how I keep on looking up writer's quotes and advice to writers and yet I never agree with the things they say?

Well, I found a list of advice that I actually like!

So here goes:

  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 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.
By the way, I got these from here and they come from Kurt Vonnegut. I don't think I've ever read any of his books, but he looks interesting and someday I plan on reading Slaughterhouse Five. I'll let you know if I ever get around to it.

Picture from this link.

But anyway, I actually liked the advice he gave. I mean, none of the points are really new, nothing I haven't heard or just known, but hearing it like this gives me inspiration.
And I like point seven and eight and five. Those seem like things that it's really tempting to change, and while experimenting and being creative are all good and great, I still think it can be bad to have too much suspense or too much waiting around before the story gets started.
(I think there are some classic authors I've read in English class who could have heard point five...)

My advice? Just write. Forget about all the rules. If you're really meant to write, you won't have time to worry about who to write for and what to write about. You'll just be so caught up in the words that nothing else even matters.

This seems like a super cool blog!

That isn't to say that it's not good to read and research as much as possible when you're in the in-between books stage.

If you haven't figured it out-- I am in the in-between books stage. Or at least, the in-between drafts stage.

Man, sometimes I wish people could read faster!

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