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Date: January 26, 2009

Vonnegut Motivational Posters

Relating to the last post, here are some Kurt Vonnegut Motivational Posters.

I would actually pay good money for a print of this one.

photo_1232848541

Thanks, Tiffany!

Kurt Vonnegut – How to Write with Style

Let’s celebrate the 100th post on The Black Laser with someone else’s work.

KURT VONNEGUT JR

I am a fan of Kurt Vonnegut. I mean, who isn’t a fan of his? Breakfast of Champions is incredible. So is Slaughterhouse 5. And Galapagos. And Sirens of Titan. You can’t go wrong. If you’re not convinced, the man was in Back to School as himself. What more do you need?

Consequently, when he writes about writing, you had better pay attention; these are a master’s words and advice. Take heed.

His article “How to Write with Style” breaks down into 7 main points.

  1. Find a subject you care about
  2. Do not ramble, though
  3. Keep it simple
  4. Have the guts to cut
  5. Sound like yourself
  6. Say what you mean to say
  7. Pity the readers

Personally, I feel good about number 1 (the darkness in the human soul) and 5 (can’t you just hear me speak?) in my own writing. Number 3 and 4 are things I can definitely work on. I fall in love with certain things and often have a hard time cutting them out even if they are not working. I also tend to get all retardedly baroque with my descriptions partly because it makes me laugh and partly because I like it, but I think that it is important for me to work on keeping the flavor of those passages without the too-wordy blathering. Streamline.

If you want to read the whole article, I’ve posted it here. Kurt Vonnegut – How to Write with Style.

Happy 100, Black Laserians!

Ira Glass on Perseverance

Ira Glass on Storytelling #3

Thank you, Ira, for telling me what I already knew somewhere deep down and what I wrestle with all the time. I love that you’ve provided a self-effacing example to help illustrate your point. Keep work, people! Eventually what you make will be good.

I really like his point that creating for someone who expects you to produce, even if you’re not being paid, is critical. It totally supports my philosophy about work which led to the creation (and recreation and rerecreation) of the Great Williamsburg Writing Circle (GWWC). I know I work better, more regularly when I am beholden to someone, when someone is expecting the work out of me. Whether that is the GWWC, a film or something I am editing at work, or now my friends at Uncle Magazine, it is a huge motivator for me and impetus not to just get all lazy and complacent and stupid about it. It’s also the driving force behind the Year of 5000 Photos and 50 Short Stories; if I am expected by you, my fair readers, to produce work and share it on this site, then, by gum, I am going to produce. I am going to produce even if the work is trash.

If you’re interested, here are the other videos on Storytelling.

Ira Glass on Storytelling #1

Ira Glass on Storytelling #2

Ira Glass on Storytelling #4

Also: [audio:PrisonEnsemble.mp3]