07-11-2007 12:53 PM
Why is this a good practice? Vonnegut’s opinion is that such a story makes the reader feel, even without knowing it, “as though he or she is eavesdropping on a fascinating conversation between two people.” And that the reader can sense, without knowing it “that the story has boundaries like a playing field. That the story can’t go simply anywhere.” And this “invites readers to come off the sidelines, to get into the game with the author.”
What do you think about Vonnegut’s idea of writing just for one person? If it sits well with you, who might be the one person you write for and why?
07-11-2007 01:40 PM
07-11-2007 02:07 PM
I like his notion about the interesting conversation, and the bounded game and so forth...but Kurt's at his best when he's flying off in time and space in ways that aren't so bounded. Those were the works that made his career. Granted he stuck to fairly no-nonsense structures underlying it all, but it's really his flights of fancy and not his playing by rules that established him as a writer of importance and granted him the permanent curmudgeon status he enjoyed the rest of his life.
07-11-2007 07:09 PM
07-11-2007 09:12 PM
07-12-2007 12:18 AM
This is the second best advice I have heard on writing. The first advice was on how to start writing a book. The person suggested to just write everything down and then go back and edit.
07-12-2007 02:06 AM
I had been attracted to Dungeons and Dragons since it came out but never felt comfortable enough to hang out with the people who played it. Until I met one person, Gib. He is a D&D storyteller and I felt both encouraged and comfortable talking about what I wanted to do: write from D&D. So, it was natural that, when he went off to boot camp, that I would take what interested me and share it with him.
I created two characters, one of whom wrote letters and another who received them. And I wrote the letters.
I kept writing as much to run point for his own desire to turn his D&D stories into novels, as to tell him the rest of the story, to have him be proud of me. It wouldn't work if I didn't write truly to myself since that is what he likes about my work. He will still be the first one to whom the finished piece is dedicated.
07-14-2007 03:00 PM
07-16-2007 10:48 AM
07-16-2007 10:51 AM
It's actually somewhat bizarre for me to be reading this, because . . .
What serendipity that this question is so relevant to your experience right now. Like Vonnegut, who thought immediately of his sister, you’ve thought of this teacher. It makes me wonder if the person we write for—if, in fact, we do—changes over time or with writing projects, or if the person a writer writes for remains the same over time.