In Others’ Words: Writers’ Rules
I was a rule follower long before I realized I was a writer. “Which way do we go — and how do we act while we get there?” was my mantra.
And while I like life to be heavily flavored with grace and passion and laughter these days, there is still a time and a place for rules. Writing requires grace and passion and laughter too — but rules are needed to help the idea in my head and the words I’m writing become a real story.
I like author Kurt Vonnegut’s rules — and not just because #2, #3, #4 and #6 all appeal to my red pen editor’s eye. Of all the rules, #7 intrigues me the most: Pity the readers.
Now what do you suppose Mr. Vonnegut meant by that? I stopped and asked myself when have I felt as if an author wasted my time? If I rewrote that line (with apologies to Mr. Vonnegut), I’d say, “For pity’s sake, don’t waste the readers time with an implausible plot or characters too stupid to live.*”
In Your Words: How’s your Wednesday going? Did any of Kurt Vonnegut’s rules appeal to you? And what do you think about #7? I’d love to know!0 I like this!