Monday, May 17, 2010
Along those lines, I’ve listed here some advice by famous writers—some serious, some humorous and some insane.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
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 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.
Jack Kerouac's "Belief and Technique for Modern Prose"
1.Keep secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for your own joy.
2 Be submissive to everything, open, listening.
3. Try never to get drunk outside your own house.
4. Be in love with your life.
5. Something that you feel will find its own form.
6. Be crazy, dumb, a saint of the mind.
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow.
8. Write what you want--bottomless from the bottom of the mind.
9. See the unspeakable visions of the individual.
10. No time for poetry? Know exactly what is poetry.
11. Feel visionary tics shivering in the chest.
12. In a tranced fixation, dream upon the object before you.
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition.
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time.
15. Tell the true story of the world in interior monolog.
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye.
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself.
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in a language sea.
19. Accept loss forever.
20. Believe in the holy contour of life.
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in the mind.
22. Don't think of words when you stop. but see the picture better.
23. Keep track of every day, the date emblazoned in your morning.
24. Have no fear or shame in the dignity of your experience, language and knowledge.
25. Write for the world to read and see your exact pictures of it.
26. Book movie is the movie in words, the visual American form.
27. Praise the character and the bleak and human loneliness.
28. Compose wild, undisciplined, pure, coming in from under,the crazier the better.
29. You're a Genius all the time.
30. A writer is the director of earthly movies sponsored and angeled in Heaven.
COMING TOMORROW ERNEST HEMMINGWAY AND ELMORE LEONARD.