If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them.
Reading between the lines. This assignment is reprinted from Kurt Vonnegut: Lettersedited by Dan Wakefield, out now from Delacorte Press. It will probably be Animal Husbandry by the time Black February rolls around. We may end up miles from here. I want you to adore the Universe, to be easily delighted, but to be prompt as well with impatience with those artists who offend your own deep notions of what the Universe is or should be.
Read them for pleasure and satisfaction, beginning each as though, only seven minutes before, you had swallowed two ounces of very good booze.
The grades should be childishly selfish and impudent measures of your own joy or lack of it. I do insist that you like some stories better than others. Proceed next to the hallucination that you are a minor but useful editor on a good literary magazine not connected with a university.
Take three stories that please you most and three that please you least, six in all, and pretend that they have been offered for publication. Write a report on each to be submitted to a wise, respected, witty and world-weary superior.
Do not do so as an academic critic, nor as a person drunk on art, nor as a barbarian in the literary market place.
Do so as a sensitive person who has a few practical hunches about how stories can succeed or fail. Praise or damn as you please, but do so rather flatly, pragmatically, with cunning attention to annoying or gratifying details.
Be a good editor. The Universe needs more good editors, God knows. Advertisement Since there are eighty of you, and since I do not wish to go blind or kill somebody, about twenty pages from each of you should do neatly.
Do not spin your wheels. Use words I know.
Lettersedited by Dan Wakefield.Kurt Vonnegut on the Shapes of Stories and 8 Basics of Creative Writing. From the preface to Vonnegut’s short story collection Bagombo Snuff Box.
And if that wasn’t enough, here’s a PDF with a set of eight other rules from Vonnegut on how to write in style. Master storyteller Kurt Vonnegut once gave a talk in which he discussed the different shapes stories can have; it's funny.
Here is the video.
Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Rules For Writing Fiction. I found this through 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 ), Possibly Related Posts: Vonnegut: How To Write With. 5 Responses to “Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Rules for Writing a Short Story, with a Bonus Rule” alonso Says: October 15th, at pm. Good advice. Personally I approach short film ideas (one day I’ll have time to make them) is to simply imagine myself in the theater about to see the most awesome thing ever. Writing career. Vonnegut's first short story, "Report on the Barnhouse Effect"  appeared in the February 11, edition of Collier's (it has since been reprinted in his short story collection, Welcome to the Monkey House).His first novel was the dystopian novel Player Piano (), in which human workers have been largely replaced by machines.
The video is only a portion of Vonnegut's talk but this transcript gives the entire thing. Since we're talking about Kurt Vonnegut and writing, here are his rules for writing. Whether you appreciate his style or content, it is hard to deny that Kurt Vonnegut was a master of language—intelligent, creative, and meaningful.
Here is his list of eight rules for writing a short story, from his collection Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction. Kurt Vonnegut got over his fears about becoming an author.
He learnt how to write great books and how to sell them. He also crafted eight rules for struggling and fearful writers but they apply to all types of writing, even if you’re crafting the copy for the back of a cereal box.
Kurt Vonnegut (November 11, –April 11, ) has given us some of the most timeless advice on the art and craft of writing — from his 8 rules for a great story to his insights on the shapes of stories to his formidable daily routine.
Writing Rules: 8 Kurt Vonnegut writing tips The writing tips series is a journey through the wise words of our favourite writers. Why not learn from those we wish to mimic.