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Writing With Style: 8 Tips From Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vinnegut quote_B2W

Kurt Vonnegut, author and a fierce critic of American politics, once said, “Anything can make me stop and look and wonder, and sometimes learn.” 

So, I hope aspiring and determined Bang2writers (and even the ones feeling lost) will learn something new from the great Kurt Vonnegut! Check out his great advice and tips:

1) Find a subject you care about

Find what you care about and what others care about as well. This way your piece and its writing elements will differ drastically from the one on the topic you don’t give a damn about.

2) Do not ramble, though

Write few lines that openly state what you think, rather than few pages of confusingly incomprehensible stuff!

3) Keep it simple

Writing less but saying more (like Shakespeare or Joyce did) is the art and finding those few words to express the most important things will be a challenge but if you don’t strive to become the next Shakespeare or Joyce, then why are your writing?

4) Have the guts to cut

Long sentences speaking nonsense aren’t going to benefit your piece. They will only bore your readers to death and make them misunderstand you. Well, this tip is quite similar to the one above but if you fail to keep it simple, you should find courage to cross the unnecessary words or paragraphs or even pages out.

5) Sound like yourself

Although, you may want to become the next Shakespeare or Joyce, remember not to simply copycat. Find your own writing style which is unique and represents only you. And when somebody reads your anonymous piece, they could immediately say it is written by you, just like when you listen to a song, though you may not know who is singing it, you can tell by vice who is singing.

6) Say what you mean to say

Surely, the same line can be interpreted differently by various persons but still make it impossible for these persons to misunderstand you.

7) Pity the readers

Define your audience, try to stand in their shoes, and write for them to understand you immediately but not to read your piece with a dictionary in their hands.

8) And for really detailed advice …

“… I commend to your attention The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White…”

Also, I’d love to mention my favorite Vonnegut’s advice to the young:

The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”

So, don’t think too much about muses and stuff, just write what you really want to say to the world and do it as well as you can!!

Still, if you wonder WHY you should take advice on how you should write? Or WHY you think about improving your writing style? The answer is simple – do this out of respect to your readers. Don’t be one of the empty-headed writers! Think about what Vonnegut advises and take what will work for you.


BIO: Written by Kim Wells, blogger, passionate reader, and writing expert at AW Essay Writers. She loves literature, writing, and dogs. Feel free to circle her on Google+.

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