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The literary works of kurt vonnegut based on personal experiences

Like his books, really. Here is a lesson in creative writing. Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. I think it can be tremendously refreshing if a creator of literature has something on his mind other than the history of literature so far. Literature should not disappear up its own asshole, so to speak.

The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.

Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something. He told me that, if the workshop ever got a building of its own, these words should be inscribed over the entrance: I guarantee you that no modern story scheme, even plotlessness, will give a reader genuine satisfaction, unless one of those old-fashioned plots is smuggled in somewhere.

Characters paralyzed by the meaninglessness of modern life still have to drink water from time to time. I thought that was wonderful. The story dealt with issues a lot more important than dental floss, but what kept readers going was anxiety about when the dental floss would finally be removed.

Nobody could read that story without fishing around in his mouth with a finger. You can also exclude the reader by not telling him immediately where the story is taking place, and who the people are [and what they want]. And you can put him to sleep by never having characters confront each other. Students like to say that they stage no confrontations because people avoid confrontations in modern life. There are times when nothing comes. From The Last Interview On love in fiction: So much of what happens in storytelling is mechanical, has to do with the technical problems of how to make a story work.

Cowboy stories and policeman stories end in shoot-outs, for example, because shoot-outs are the most reliable mechanisms for making such stories end. There is nothing like death to say what is always such an artificial thing to say: They go gaga about love. Nine to twelve in the morning, five to six in the evening. Businessmen would achieve better results if they studied human metabolism.

No one works well eight hours a day. No one ought to work more than four hours. Find a subject you care about Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about.

It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style. I am not urging you to write a novel, by the way—although I would not be sorry if you wrote one, provided you genuinely cared about something. A petition to the mayor about a pothole in front of your house or a love letter to the girl next door will do. Keep it simple As for your use of language: Remember that two great masters of language, William Shakespeare and James Joyce, wrote sentences which were almost childlike when their subjects were most profound.

The longest word is three letters long. Simplicity of language is not only reputable, but perhaps even sacred. The Bible opens with a sentence well within the writing skills of a lively fourteen-year-old: Have guts to cut It may be that you, too, are capable of making necklaces for Cleopatra, so to speak. But your eloquence should be the servant of the ideas in your head. Your rule might be this: If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out.

Sound like yourself The writing style which is most natural for you is bound to echo the speech you heard when a child. And lucky indeed is the writer who has grown up in Ireland, for the English spoken there is so amusing and musical. I myself grew up in Indianapolis, where common speech sounds like a band saw cutting galvanized tin, and employs a vocabulary as unornamental as a monkey wrench.

In some of the more remote hollows of Appalachia, children still grow up hearing songs and locutions of Elizabethan times. Yes, and many Americans grow up hearing a language other than English, or an English dialect a majority of Americans cannot understand. All these varieties of speech are beautiful, just as the varieties of butterflies are beautiful.

No matter what your first language, you should treasure it all your life. If it happens to not be standard English, and if it shows itself when your write standard English, the result is usually delightful, like a very pretty girl with one eye that is green and one that is blue. I myself find that I trust my own writing most, and others seem to trust it most, too, when I sound most like a person from Indianapolis, which is what I am.

What alternatives do I have? The one most vehemently recommended by teachers has no doubt been pressed on you, as well: Say what you mean I used to be exasperated by such teachers, but am no more. I understand now that all those antique essays and stories with which I was to compare my own work were not magnificent for their datedness or foreignness, but for saying precisely what their authors meant them to say. My teachers wished me to write accurately, always selecting the most effective words, and relating the words to one another unambiguously, rigidly, like parts of a machine.

The teachers did not want to turn me into an Englishman after all. They hoped that I would become understandable—and therefore understood. And there went my dream of doing with words what Pablo Picasso did with paint or what any number of jazz idols did with music. If I broke all the rules of punctuation, had words mean whatever I wanted them to mean, and strung them together higgledy-piggledy, I would simply not be understood.

So you, the literary works of kurt vonnegut based on personal experiences, had better avoid Picasso-style or jazz-style writing, if you have something worth saying and wish to be understood. Readers want our pages to look very much like pages they have seen before. This is because they themselves have a tough job to do, and they need all the literary works of kurt vonnegut based on personal experiences help they can get from us.

Pity the readers They have to identify thousands of little marks on paper, and make sense of them immediately. So this discussion must finally acknowledge that our stylistic options as writers are neither numerous nor glamorous, since our readers are bound to be such imperfect artists.

Kurt Vonnegut's dark, sad, cruel side is laid bare

Our audience requires us to be sympathetic and patient readers, ever willing to simplify and clarify—whereas we would rather soar high above the crowd, singing like nightingales. That is the bad news. The good news is that we Americans are governed under a unique Constitution, which allows us to write whatever we please without fear of punishment. So the most meaningful aspect of our styles, which is what we choose to write about, is utterly unlimited.

For really detailed advice For a discussion of literary style in a narrower sense, in a more technical sense, I recommend to your attention The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. White is, of course, one of the most admirable literary stylists this country has so far produced.

You should realize, too, that no one would care how well or badly Mr.

Vonnegut’s Life

White expressed himself, if he did not have perfectly enchanting things to say. On how to write good short stories, aka List 2: Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action. Start as close to the end as possible.

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. 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. 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. She broke practically every one of my rules but the first.

Great writers tend to do that. From the preface to Bagombo Snuff Box On ignoring rules: It is to make a point that I did it. Rules only take us so far, even good rules.