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Vonnegut's 8 Tips on How to Write a Great Story


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.

#writing #fiction #shortstory #novel
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5 comments
 
Thank you +Doug Lance for these tips I am finding them very valuable in my writing, so thank you once again for sharing
 
I would have to disagree with #8, as quite often information is given that does nothing for the story. I would say the ability to know what information to share and how to share it effectively is one of the main keys to good writing.
 
Fantastic tips. It's almost like #6 was written after me, given my track-record among my more long-term readers.
 
+Rose Johnson All too often writers will leave important details out for the sake of suspense. But true suspense comes from the revelation of detail, not the withholding of it.
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