Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

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Bring us a shrubbery

Kurt Vonnegut's Eight Rules for Writing Fiction.

I think most of these are pretty good. I disagree with number 8, but I think what he's getting at is that an awful lot of 'suspense' in fiction is done poorly, is transparently the work of the conniving author, not organic to the plot, and does little more than annoy the reader. Vonnegut also tends to write fiction without much suspense because that's the the kind of a writer he is. If you want to write like Vonnegut, fine, but that's only one way of writing.

I'm also hesitant to accept Rule 2. at face value. I think it's the word 'root'. The infuriating but fascinating villain is one of the best characters, if you can do him/her well. I don't, however, think you can write fiction that anyone cares to read in which all the characters are despicable.

The rest of them I strongly agree with. No. 6 is something Nancy Kress said at Clarion: beginning writers are too often afraid to hurt their characters.


meaning: fence, hedge

石垣 == ishigaki == (noun) stone wall
生け垣 == ikegaki == (noun) hedge

Left radical is 'ground/earth' (土).The right radical is a Non-General Use character meaning 'go around'. I.e., earth a that goes around (a building), i.e., an earthen rampart/wall/fence. Later this character came to mean hedges as well. Henshall suggests taking the right radical as 'sun' (日) between 'two' (二), and as a mnemonic: 'Sunny ground between two fences.'

Info from Taka Kanji Database
List of compounds including this character from Risu Dictionary

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