About Me

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Susie Wild is a poet, writer, journalist, critic, lecturer, festival organiser and editor based in Cardiff. Her debut poetry collection 'Better Houses' is out through Parthian Books and all good bookshops on and offline 1 October 2017. 'The Art of Contraception' was her first book. It was long-listed for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2011 and won 'Fiction Book of the Year' in the Welsh Icons Awards 2010. Her Kindle novella 'Arrivals' was released globally through Parthian Books in May 2011. She edited the illustrated short story anthology 'Rarebit' for Parthian's 21st birthday, released December 2013. Illustrated by John Abell. She is Publishing Editor at one of Wales' Leading Indie Publishers, Parthian Books. @Soozerama

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Vonnegut on how to write a short story


  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 heck 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.

Read more and watch the video at openculture.com: http://www.openculture.com/2012/06/kurt_vonneguts_eight_tips_on_how_to_write_a_good_short_story.html

I am NEVER ever guilty of tip number 6. No, no. Not me.