8 Tips on Writing from Kurt Vonnegut

I was introduced to this video via Tim Ferris’ always awesome newsletter called 5 Bullet Friday.

I’m actually not familiar with Kurt Vonnegut, but supposedly he’s an amazing writer. And the tips in this video make me believe that he was too.

You don’t need to be a fictional writer to benefit from these tips. If you write non-fiction, copyedit client blog posts, or develop YouTube videos, these tips will help you.

Here’s my own summary:

  1. Don’t leave the reader feeling like they wasted their time
  2. Give the reader a character to root for
  3. Every character should want something, even if just a glass of water
  4. Every sentence should either reveal character or advance action
  5. Start as close to the end as possible
  6. Make awful things happen to your leading character, no matter how sweet and innocent they are. This shows the reader what the character is made of.
  7. Write to please just one person, not the world
  8. To heck with suspense. Give readers as much info as possible as soon as possible. Readers should be able to surmise the ending of the story if they end up not finishing it.

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