2K to 10K 31 Plays in 31 Days 750 Words A Newbie's Guide to Publishing a room of one's own Aaron Sorkin Adam Lauver Aimee Mann Alden Jones Alexander Masters All Things Considered alphabetical order amazing Amazon Ang Lee Angels in America animation Ann Patchett Ann Voss Peterson Anne Lamott Anne R. Allen AOL Instant Messenger Apartment Therapy audio drama Austin Kleon author pages avalanche thinking baby bump Barnes & Noble basement cat Belgariad benonsensical Big Fish Bill Watterson Bird by Bird Blake Snyder blogging book porn books Books-a-Million Boston Boston Playwrights' Theatre Boston Theater Marathon Brain Pickings brainstorming Brandon Sanderson brevity Bridge Rep of Boston Buffy the Vampire Slayer BuzzFeed C.J. Redwine C.S. 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Entries in Austin Kleon (4)


Writing advice from Kurt Vonnegut

Here's something you probably didn't expect to read today: a facsimile of "How to Write with Style" by Kurt Vonnegut, from a 1986 issue of SPIN Magazine.

Also, check out Aimee Mann's hair on the next page...

(via Austin Kleon)


Steal like a writer

Austin Kleon's 10 rules for stealing like a writer:

1. Writing is collage.

2. Read, read, read.

3. Keep a swipe file.

4. Carry a notebook + pen.

5. Step away from the screen.

6. Don't wait until you know what you think to get started.

7. Keep a daily routine.

8. Write something you would want to read.

9. Tell (Oprah) stories.

10. Practice in public.

You can also find a video presentation and a slideshow of the rules here.

I actually do a lot of these: reading a lot, of course; I carry writing inplements almost everywhere; often the only way I can begin writing is longhand; and I am getting better (though it's never comfortable) at writing before I know what it is I'm writing.

I would love to keep a daily routine, but that's easier said. I have no idea what a swipe file is, but it sounds intriguing. And I'll have to watch the video to see if the stories I tell are Oprah stories. (I kind of doubt it, but you never do know...)

How about you? Agree? Disagree? Any you would add?


"Leave out the parts readers tend to skip." --Elmore Leonard

Happy Friday!

From Austin Kleon, 10 good points about writing and also an illustration.

From myself, that story/play/thing is slowly coming along -- will post it on here either tomorrow or Sunday, followed by Week Two's challenge (!) on Monday.


Welcome to the Unwritten Word!

Each week, I'll be digging through shoeboxes of old college notebooks, papers, and daily planners for all the unbearably brilliant ideas I never turned into stories. 

Of course, part of the fun here will be taking ideas that are, I suspect, heavy-handed, overwrought, and/or melodramatic and earnestly trying to turn them into something interesting. 

Some of these probably won't be very good, but I'll let you decide that. My only responsibility is to put pen to paper and to be truthful about the process.

The inspiration for this blog is part Letters of Note ("found" documents that have gained significance over time), part Austin Kleon (an artist who is generous about sharing his process and inspiration), and part Dean Wesley Smith (an indie author who recently challenged himself to write 100 stories in one year), mixed with several parts of my own need to strong-arm myself into writing regularly again. 

My home page outlines a bit more the challenge I have set for myself. If you're interested, here's some context about the guy who had all of these "interesting" ideas. Finally, if you'd like to contact me, you can do so here!