the shape of things

Okay this one is mostly for writers, sorta for readers, and possibly for those who might want to hear a very quick lecture by the man who said something this smart:

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

So instead of putting the video last, I’m putting it in the middle and some more junk after it.

So, Because it gave me a way to feel productive while not actually working on my novel, I took a minute to graph the shape of it:

Although this doesn’t really match any of Kurt Vonnegut’s shapes, I’m pleased to see it goes up and down enough that something must be happening in there.

How about it, my writer friends…any of your stories like one on the video or totally different?

And to all my reader friends–are any of you Vonnegut fans? I’m embarrassed to say that I’m not sure I’ve read anything by him…is that possible? Seems like at one time I owned Cat’s Cradle, but I don’t remember anything about it. And so I just hopped on Amazon and ordered Slaughterhouse Five because, honestly, if I haven’t read it, I should. And if I’ve read it and forgotten then I certainly should. (Unfortunately this is happening with increasing frequency. Sigh…)

And one last Vonnegut quote for the road:

Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.

And my response to that would be, “uh oh…”

I think I’m in trouble; I like semicolons.


7 thoughts on “the shape of things

  1. I loved the lecture! He is an awesome presenter! Sorry, but I don’t believe I have read anything by the Kurt-man. Did you know you have an advertisement at the bottom of your post? Does that mean progress???? I am bummed that you graphed your story because now I know how it ends (well, sort of).

  2. I’d say that my story is the second one he described: [Girl] meets girl. Of course that’s over-simplified. There are wins and losses throughout, and if I graphed all of them, it would go up and down a lot, but it starts out with my protagonist okay, then things get difficult, and at the end, she’s way up high. This is over four books.

    Loved that video by the way!

    Also, there’s no way I’m giving up semi-colons.

  3. Mel, this is great. I love Vonnegut. And I absolutely worship Slaughterhouse Five. One of my best friends says that I AM Billy Pilgrim. When you finish, SF, read “Breakfast of Champions,” and then read all of them the way you did with the Dortmunder books. Have you ever seen the Rodney Dangerfield movie “Back to School”? Not only does it have one of the most wonderful pieces of Sam Kineson’s work ever filmed but it’s got a great Vonnegut bit. Rodney hires Vonnegut to write a paper he has to write about Slaughterhouse Five. The professor gives him an “F” and says he can’t believe Rodney ever read the book. When Vonnegut shows up to collect his money, Rodney kicks him out and tells him “Next time, I’ll get Ludlum!”

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