TASTE

Eight Simple Rules

Kurt Vonnegut once wrote down a list of guidelines he personally abided by when writing short stories. I’m trying to keep them in mind with the NaNoWriMo yarn, even though the finished product will presumably be a novel rather than a short story. Brevity is a particular quality in fiction-writing I’m striving to improve upon.

  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 heck 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.

The Journey of SILVER BROWN

Meditate on This, I Will

More of the summer will be spent on conceptualizing than on writing, methinks. The upcoming season will be ideal for that. I do my best thinking when I’m somewhere near a beach…


The Journey of SILVER BROWN

The Secret Ingredient

I’ve been thinking about doing a complete reimagining of SILVER BROWN. Which will no longer be called by that title. Focusing on the nature of the Secret Ingredient. Which could be a metaphorical allusion to one of any number of things, depending on your interpretation. Similar to the One Ring of Tolkienese lore, only it’s a computer program. Several of the characters will be recycled, albeit with new roles. I might even rename a few.

This guy, for instance, will be renamed Sir Alistair Pinkerton-Jones.