"How to Write With Style" by Kurt Vonnegut
In an essay from his 1981 collection, Palm Sunday, the wonderful Kurt Vonnegut offered simple, sensible advice on improving your writing. Love this bit on learning how to "sound like yourself":
I myself find that I trust my own writing most, and others seem to trust it most, too, when I sound most like a person from Indianapolis, which is what I am. What alternatives do I have? The one most vehemently recommended by teachers has no doubt been pressed on you, as well: to write like cultivated Englishmen of a century or more ago.
The seven points, in all:
- Find a subject you care about
- Do not ramble, though
- Keep it simple
- Have guts to cut
- Sound like yourself
- Say what you mean
- Pity the readers
(Ask me about the time in 1986 that Kurt Vonnegut bought me breakfast.)
Update 2008-07-14 09:11:30: If you're curious, [here's my Kurt Vonnegut story](kung fu grippe, which I shared on another site of mine not long after his passing. What a good human Mr. Vonnegut was.
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