Kurt Vonnegut’s Advice on Short Stories
1. Use a time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel that the time was wasted.
2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4. Every sentence must do one of two things – reveal character or advance the action.
5. Start as close to the end as possible.
6. Be a sadist.
7. Write to please just one person.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible.