Wednesday, March 5, 2014

In the Words of...

I was on the interwebs doing writing research...okay, I was procrastinating by looking at pictures of cats doing things. Like this:

Belinda! Who Sed You Cud Jus Take Off Wif Carlos, Ennyhow?
But then I found some wonderful writing/storytelling tips that to share with you: 

Kurt Vonnegut:

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.

George Orwell:

1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which are used to seeing in print.
2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. (I’m charmed by his example: use “snapdragon,” not “antirrhinum.” Snapdragon is so much nicer.)
6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

E. L. Doctorow:

Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. 

Do you have any writing tips or quotes you'd like to share? Leave them in the comments. 

Happy Wednesday. 


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