Kurt Vonnegut’s Rules

Kurt Vonnegut’s eight rules for writing short stories. With a few modifications, they also serve as a nice set of rules for makers of animated shorts. In particular, a lot of people would benefit from following his first one:

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

(via Kottke)


  • Joe Fournier

    His 7th point I’ve always thought his best. As I recall, he wrote with his sister in mind as reader.

  • http://questforanimationglory.blogspot.com vincent

    Great advice in Vonnegut’s Rules! I just read, a couple of weeks ago, his “Bogombo Snuff Box”, which contains those rules. I agree with Joe, writing with an audience of 1 in mind creates a much stronger story than writing for the masses, {hint} {hint} big….studios..*cough*

  • David

    “. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.”

    Good rule for blogging (and Facebook posts) , too. I’ll have to remember that one.

  • Brak

    vonnegut is a great writer. these rules are awful, which is why he suggests that good writers dismiss them all successfully.