The 8 Rules of Writing Short Fiction

Some interesting thoughts from Kurt Vonnegut…

The Published Author

In my last post on the short (story) road to the novel, I exhorted you to give the short story a try. I am a glutton for short stories and I guess my encouragement was a little coloured by my appetite. It hardly seems fair to nudge you on to a path without a map, so let me introduce you to Kurt Vonnegut and his eight rules for writing a short story.

Kurt Vonnegut (1922 -2007) is known to most as the author of the cult classic Slaughterhouse Five, his contribution to short stories is often eclipsed by the success of his work in the long form. Having written more than 120 short stories, he distilled his experience into 8 simple rules.

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

This is critical in fiction…

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