How to Write a Story: Vonnegut Speaks

A big thank you to the wonderful reader who sent me these links, a reader whom I’m not naming because I do know know if he or she wishes to be named.

Kurt Vonnegut narrates his 8 Tips on How to Write a Great Story:


The post over at Brain Pickings also includes links to Henry James’ 11 commandments, Jack Kerouac’s 30 beliefs and techniques, among others.

Or, we can also learn by examining the history of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, over at Letters of Note.

Do you have any notable advice or story histories you’ve found? Let us know in the comments and if you have links we’ll add them to the post.


2 thoughts on “How to Write a Story: Vonnegut Speaks

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  1. Those Vonnegut tips would probably do my c.w. students more good than all the class time we’ve spent on character and setting and such. It throws into doubt (again) my abilities to teach writing–not just creative writing but all writing. Dunno–can it be taught?

    1. I know, right? I love #7: “Write to just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”

      I think writing can be taught…to most people. For some, it’s about learning a new paradigm. A student needs some innate relationship with narrative though; I, for example, will never ever in a million years learn to play music by ear. It’s just not in me–identifying that fact, however, is much easier than confirming a student will never fully grasp how to spin a tale.

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