Friday, January 31, 2014

Who do you write for? Kurt Vonnegut

Yesterday while driving to working I was listening to Kurt Vonnegut's audiobook Bagombo Snuff Box, Uncollected Short Fiction. (If you don't know who Vonnegut is *gasp* go  Here to Wikipedia. Then go read one of his books. For whatever reason, Hocus Pocus is my favorite.) As I was saying, in the introduction of Bagombo Snuff Box Vonnegut discusses eight rules for writing short stories. *(You can read all eight here.) I am going to focus on one of his rules.

I would write for Cali if she could read.
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.

Those two sentences remind me of why I love Vonnegut so much. Vonnegut talks/writes about how there was a psychologist who claimed to work with many writers. This psychologist stated that writer tend to write for one person. Vonnegut states that when he writes, he writes for his sister Alice. He took anything Alice would not like out of the story.

Who do you write for? Who do I write for? If Vonnegut I correct, which I idolize him so he is, then I am writing for someone. Who is he/she? For the last 24 hours, this has haunted me. Am I writing for one person or a type of person? Or am I "opening a window and making love to the world"? I don't want to get pneumonia!

I think as a writer this is an important thing to figure out. That could be an issue with someone's writing. Is it like making love to someone but then thinking about someone else? Or buying a present with someone in mind and then giving it to someone else?

Who do you write for?
What are your thoughts on Vonnegut's rule?

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