Vonnegut on story shapes, with added video

A while back I linked to a story about Kurt Vonnegut’s playful story shapes, which plot traditional stories onto an x/y axis, with happiness on the y and time on the x. Turns out there’s a video of Vonnegut’s talk, which Open Culture pointed me too.

It’s a lovely and charming thing, this video. I never saw Vonnegut speak, but the voice I hear in his stories and his other writing is right there on stage: funny, clever, wanting to be enjoyed but with an edge as well. There’s a bunch of other YouTube videos about Vonnegut, and they all evince the same qualities.

Here’s the story shapes video:

Here’s a little video treatment of Vonnegut’s eight rules of short story writing:

Here’s Vonnegut talking about censorship, and “not making a damn difference”:

And I was going to embed Fox News’ laughable Vonnegut obituary, but why spoil a perfectly nice day?

One thought on “Vonnegut on story shapes, with added video

  1. Just a note to let you know about a book blog I’ve started with a different twist: “Writing Kurt Vonnegut.” Every Saturday, I post another excerpt from my notebook as Vonnegut’s biographer— profiles of the people I met, the difficulties encountered, and the surprises, such as finding 1,500 letters he thought he had lost forever. It’s a blog written in episodes about being a literary detective.

    Perhaps you’d like to give it a look at http://www.writingkurtvonnegut.com

    All the best,

    Charles J. Shields
    And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, A Life (Holt, November 2011)


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