Kurt Vonnegut on Story Structure

Kurt Vonnegut was probably the first popular writer I ever saw in person.  And in a way, rightly so.  When I was a boy, I recall seeing a television movie called Between Time and Timbuktu.  The film was based on Vonnegut’s work, and it captured my attention so much I found a book–with pictures–written after the movie.  I didn’t read, but the book, the story, and Vonnegut caught my attention.

Years later as a literature major, I saw Vonnegut speak at Florida State University.  I remember a few things he said about writing: (1) don’t marry because it will take you away from writing, (2) don’t major in literature because you need to learn about other things if you are to write about the world, and (3) throw away the first three pages of your short story because it’s just you warming up.

Here’s a Vonnegut’s comedic take on story structure.  Funny and wise at the same time, it’s worth a viewing to taste what he was like.


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