Friday, January 24, 2014

on writing - from Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut

I've been reading Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut, edited by
William Rodney Allen.  Here are a few tidbits, Vonnegut's
thoughts on writing, short stories, and so on, that I rarely see on
other websites spouting bits of his wisdom...  Enjoy...

"As a rule it takes me quite awhile to figure out precisely how the
novel will end… I find that, as a writer, I share a problem, perhaps
you could call it a tragedy, with most human beings: a tendency to
lose contact with my own intelligence.  It's almost as if there were a
layer of fat upon the part of us that thinks and it's the writer's job to
hack through and discover what is inside.  So often it's this belief, or
some such belief, that keeps me going after a day when I've been at
it for hours and am dissatisfied with what I've produced.  But I do
keep at it and, if I'm patient, a nice egg-shaped idea emerges and I
can tell my intelligence has gotten through.  It' a slow process,
though, and an annoying one, because you have to sit still so long."

"That's the horrible part of being in the short-story business - you
have to be a real expert on ends.  Nothing in real life ends."

"Usually what you do is you obsess the reader: Is the boy going to
get the girl?  Is the person going to get revenge, or, are they going
to find the money, whatever.  Once you get bogged down in plot,
on rails like that, that's all a reader can think about."

By Klas Fahlén

No comments:

Post a Comment