Reddit’s Tips for Writers

A recent thread on Reddit asked for [“simple tips that make a huge difference in other people’s writing.”][1] Some interesting things are mentioned–read your work out loud, watch use of adverbs, etc.–but these eight tips from Kurt Vonnegut also got posted:

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 hell 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.

[1]: http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/1jltqn/writers_of_reddit_what_are_exceptionally_simple/

Jonathan Evison Opens His Wallet

In an attempt to answer the question [how much do novelists make][], Jonathon Evison has give _The Stranger_ a very honest appraisal of his income and expenses in regards to his three published novels (as well as his six unpublished novels). Well, much of the article really focuses on the first novel. There’s a lacuna where the second novel should be. The short version? Produce. Find a publisher who will help you build an audience. Work at building your audience yourself as well. Be in it for the long run.

[how much do novelists make]: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/how-much-do-novelists-make/Content?oid=15445088