Features, interviews and stories from around the web that inspired or enlightened me over the past week.
Kurt Vonnegut Story Grids. Story gridsâincluding one for the classic fairy tale, Cinderella, that the great novelist shared during a New York City lecture to show why we crave drama in our stories even though our lives are generally rather humdrum. Or is it the other way around? Because our lives are boring, we prefer dramatic stories. Either way, these grids make interesting basic plotting tools and may even spark an idea or two for your own writing.
Several years ago, I had the privilege of being photographed by Vonnegutâs wife, Jill Krementz, for a picture book she created featuring black writers. She came to my house and we spent a memorable afternoon.
You can read more about Vonnegut’s story grids at GalleyCat.
Another great novelist, Toni Morrison, discusses writing rituals, routines, and much more in an interview for the Paris Review. Starts with a discussion of why she has always started to write before dawn. Very long and enlightening.
Terry McMillan gives advice to aspiring authors over at Black Voices. Lots of wisdom here, such as âDon’t believe your family, friends or lovers when they tell you: “It’s great!” What else are they going to say?â And âYou have to have conflict in your story. Even fairy tales and cartoons have them.â
Yep, there it is again. Check out Kurt Vonnegutâs story grid for Cinderella, linked above.