Writing Wisdom: Kurt Vonnegut
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 hell 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.
Publishing News and Blues
•Macmillian to halt distribution: As yet another sign of declining book sales, Macmillan Australia will cease its own distribution services by April 2014, outsourcing all needs to another company. This will affect Macmillan imprints and other companies that use Macmillan Distribution Services.
•Goodbye Bookish: Sales via Booki.sh, an ebook selling website used by Melbourne retailers such as Readings and Books for Cooks, will cease services on June 30. This unfortunate news comes after the merger with Overdrive, but readers who have bought through the service will still have access to their books,
•Amazon buys Goodreads: It was inevitable that the ever-growing Goodreads would be bought, but the real surprise is that publishers let Amazon, already the gorilla in the room, envelop the independent website for book lovers into its conglomerate. The question now is (like with Google reader): What are the alternatives?
On the Art of Reading: A printing of 12 lectures given by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch in the early 1900s, it is a follow up to his On the Art of Writing. But before writing comes reading (as I’m sure all you budding authors are aware), and this gives various guides, such as reading the Bible, the use of Masterpieces and, for all us students, reading for examinations. It’s available as a free ebook (Google it).