How to Write With Style by Kurt Vonnegut (2 Videos)

How to Write With Style by Kurt Vonnegut

Source : How to Use the Power of the Printed Word, Doubleday

Newspaper reporters and technical writers are trained to reveal almost nothing about themselves in their writings. This makes them freaks in the world of writers, since almost all of the other ink-stained wretches in that world reveal a lot about themselves to readers. We call these revelations, accidental and intentional, elements of style.

These revelations tell us as readers what sort of person it is with whom we are spending time. Does the writer sound ignorant or informed, stupid or bright, crooked or honest, humorless or playful — ? And on and on.

Why should you examine your writing style with the idea of improving it? Do so as a mark of respect for your readers, whatever you’re writing. If you scribble your thoughts any which way, your readers will surely feel that you care nothing about them. They will mark you down as an egomaniac or a chowderhead — or, worse, they will stop reading you.

The most damning revelation you can make about yourself is that you do not know what is interesting and what is not. Don’t you yourself like or dislike writers mainly for what they choose to show you or make you think about? Did you ever admire an emptyheaded writer for his or her mastery of the language? No.

So your own winning style must begin with ideas in your head. Continue reading

The Graffiti on Men’s Public Restroom Stalls in Redneck Texas


The men’s public restrooms’ toilet stalls at least in Texas, where I have lived all my life, are almost always covered wall to wall inside the stall with graffiti. Most of the colorful epigrams are scribbled in ink, or sometimes magic marker, which the authors must bring with them just for this purpose. A certain percentage of the graffiti is etched into the paint with a key, or possibly a pocket knife.

Despite constant, periodic attempts, in the more upscale restrooms, to paint over the tasteless works of all the ribald authors, the walls are instantly refilled with the unstoppable phenomenon of graffiti, written by squatting defecating men.

First of all, 60% of this “prose” just is the two classic words “Fuck You.” Then ranks lusty sexually graphic descriptions of how , a guy who is surely taking a dump,” loves pussy” and fucking in general. At the University, a guy who I am assuming was Biology major wrote “I live for the titration of vaginal fatty acids.” I have to give full credit to higher education in the field of natural sciences. Continue reading

Poetry of the Poison Quill

The Writings of Bryan Edmondson (Fiction and Satire) (c) 2012

The Writings of Bryan Edmondson (Fiction and Satire) (c) 2012

It is the poetry of primeval instincts, written in elegant, serpentine prose; a flowing cadence of words, from the barbed tip of your thorny quill; a quill immersed, and thereby baptized as it were, in the fateful inkwell; the quill’s tip wetted as it plunges into the blackest ink of the blood of blasphemy and taboo.

Your contemplations, uninhibited and shameless, pour out as unexpurgated thoughts, being expressed in verses of palpable poetry; and your prose is excruciatingly engraved into the parchment of my mind—written in that black ink of thantos; ink that is permanent, like the eternal stillness of death.

Poetry, perilous yet hypnotic, like a primordial, ritualistic, chant; your verses like the incantations of self-sacrificing natives; fearful and confused minds, all worshiping primeval instinct. Continue reading

River of Death

The jungle along this section of the river is without empathy. It did not grieve for the explorers who anchored here and struggled into the labyrinth, the thicket of trees, vines, and  who disappeared, the ones whom the roots came out of the ground and made prey of. Blind roots that searched by touch. The roots, which bored through the soil, came up, and seized the natives. It wrapped round legs, and then twisted up torsos, winding round them–and squeezed the life from them like pythons. Then the land was bound to the living men, and the land fed off their blood. Look at this place, just look at it. It is a plague of cold, fog, tempests, disease, exile, and death– skulking in the air, in the water, in the bush. These forgotten men died like flies here. And if we anchor here so shall we.


100 proof exertion of writing

These Things Are Worth Dying For

The Writings of Bryan Edmondson (Fiction and Satire) (c) 2012
The Writings of Bryan Edmondson (Fiction and Satire) (c) 2012

I have a small number of people and an ideology that I love so much that they have made this whole life of great suffering and pain worth living through. Everyone who lives suffers. And I do not wish to diminish or dismiss human suffering or the pain experience by anyone.

However, I personally have had much more suffering than most average people will ever experience in their lifetimes. Tragic and crushing suffering has filled my life for all of my years; and I understand the meaning of “true suffering,” and fate spares almost all average people from of ever truly knowing what this torment for a lifetime is and how it tears one’s soul out. Continue reading

I am 82 years old and have only one word of advice.

The Writings of Bryan Edmondson (Fiction and Satire) (c) 2012

The Writings of Bryan Edmondson (Fiction and Satire) (c) 2012

I am an old man now. I have lived 82 long years and I have seen many things as you might imagine. I know how old men tend to corner young people, then chatter on and on in an attempt to “enlighten them.” Most al old men all tend to think that they alone, have pawed loose brilliant answers from the cosmic yarn ball of the greatest questions of time. And they talk truly believing that they are the only ones who ever got it right.

I would never presume to do such an unjust thing to anyone. This said I would like to suggest one idea for your consideration. It is the only thing I have to say to anyone that I think may actually be worth hearing. You may use it or ignore it as you see fit, and I promise I will say no more.

Just a Suggestion, take it only if you see fit.

The only wisdom I may have is this: the one thing I found that was really necessary for me to live a happy life. The only advice I can offer simply put is always try to remind yourself to be fully present and aware in the present moment. Some call it “Being in The Now.” And that seems to me to be the best way to describe it.

If one thing is true it is that, we humans all naturally tend to forget to appreciate the wonder of the little things in the present moment. The present and the infinite sum of all the tiny things in our life around us “right now,” these things I suggest are all that we ever really have. And in a very real way, I would propose that there is nothing that truly exists but “right now.”

Enthusiastically experiencing these things all around us “in the now,” can make our life in the present magnificent. It can also help us find something encouraging to hold on to, stay afloat and survive after the ship has sunk and we are treading water far from land.

Noticing the wonderful little things as they happen makes my life much richer. Yet this is something I must constantly remind themself to do.

It is not hard to notice these things if I actively, and continually try.

As these are the most obvious things in my life. I am talking everything I can cherish. I am talking about regularly involving my mind in spiritual practice, and being in fellowship. I am talking about really grasping sunsets, about actually paying attention to a child’s laugher, and experiencing the gift of fully witnessing morning dew clinging tenuously to silky rose buds on my rose bush at sunrise. Continue reading