Kurt Vonnegut, photo from nndb
Kurt Vonnegut is an American writer (1922-2007) famous for his satire and humour in the face of desperate circumstances. He has a wonderful theory on “the shapes of stories” – which he presents in the 4 minute video available below.
Vonnegut’s 8 Rules for Telling a Story
In his book Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction, Vonnegut listed eight rules for writing a short story:
- 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.
- Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent…
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