Tag Archives: tips

8 rules for writing a short story by Kurt Vonnegut

In his book Bagombo Snuff Box: Uncollected Short Fiction, Vonnegut listed eight rules for writing a short 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.


Learn how to fight as if you are right and listen as if you are wrong: It helps you develop strong opinions that are weakly held.

— Bob Sutton.

Source Unknown

Found this on my laptop today. I don’t know the source 😦

1. Work out at the gym at least three days a week.

2. Eat healthy.

3. Remember to recharge the spirit—have a moment of silence and prayer to empower the day.

4. Hug hubby, kids, and cats whenever the opportunity presents itself even if it means breaking the train of thought.

5. Breathe—especially when situations present opportunities to get stressed.

6. If you don’t know, ask someone. “Ask and you shall receive.”

7. Give yourself a break. If you get frustrated, change your environment. Go for a two minute walk to clear your mind.

8. Plan when you can. Do what you can before you have to even if it is a small action list for a project.

9. Praise yourself for not procrastinating until the very last minute.

10. Make time to spend with those who care about you (once a week at the very least).

11. Be flexible. Some days may be conducive to rules and other days may not.