Friday, April 10, 2015

Learning from Vonnegut, from bad advice and from Sci Am

Here are five of the eight tips:

From Kurt Vonnegut’s introduction to his short story anthology, Bagombo Snuff Box, 8 tips on how to write a good short story.
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.

From Boingboing.
Learn from (bad) examples.  Bad male writers:

 This is a clip of a longer list at Boingboing which came from Tumblr.

Change the background for better photos of hairy insects - probably good advice in other contexts.

Bonus feature!
 I narrowly avoided disaster last week and only learned of it yesterday.
I knew some students were taking a 'sculpting' class but this group are all computer game and graphic image and software majors so I thought this was a term for image manipulation or building or the like.
Last week, a student had a small brown head on her desk.  She left for a few minutes and I touched the head, thinking it was a strange, shiny plastic.  It felt weird under my fingers so I squeezed a little.  I didn't give and seemed like it would if I squeezed harder.
I did not, but put it down and prepared to teach class.
Yesterday, the same student was in class early and I saw she was scraping the head with a wooden tool, working on making realistic hair.

So glad I stopped when I did.  How would I have explained that?

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