Guest Post by Kim Marie Ostrowski

Everyone should read at least one Kurt Vonnegut book — Welcome to the Monkey House and Mother Night are my favorites. They’re blunt. Dark. Demanding. And they make you think, and laugh, and want to be a better person. What more can we ask of literature, and what better person to turn to for tough love on writing?

It’s not surprising that his thoughts on art, writing, and the writing life are just as thought-provoking, funny, and inspiring…

If you want to really hurt your parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

A Man Without a Country

… that they tear down our pretensions and keep us focused on the craft …

Novelists have, on the average, about the same IQs as the cosmetic consultants at Bloomingdale’s department store. Our power is patience. We have discovered that writing allows even a stupid person to seem halfway intelligent, if only that person will write the same thought over and over again, improving it just a little bit each time. It is a lot like inflating a blimp with a bicycle pump. Anybody can do it. All it takes is time.

Palm Sunday

… and that they’re direct, pointed, and eminently useful:

Here is Creative Writing 101:

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel 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. No matter sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

The greatest American short story writer of my generation was Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964). She broke practically every one of my rules but the first. Great writers tend to do that.

Bagombo Snuff Box

In the end, what I love is how he helps me focus on the writing itself. Not the moral or lesson or the conceptual leaps of what I’m trying to communicate — just the words, and how they build on one another into phrases, then sentences, then stories, and then big ideas:

There is no beginning, no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral, no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.


He’s a needed reminder of the power in each of our pens.

This was originally posted in the daily post.

Writing A Review

When writing a review there is certain criteria to follow

You need to give a short plot summary, what it was you did and did not like about what you are reviewing be it products, movie, tv show, or book etc.   Depending on where you write you may have a bit of a limit so many characters or words, or you may have a quota of words or characters to fill. One way or another sometimes an outline helps, but don’t always follow it as readers will notices this general form you are writing in and likely no longer pay attention.

This is what I try cover in my reviews

(this basically covers everything)

  Some give the star treatment a rating of 1 through 5 stars 1 being worst and 5 being best; while others just use a number system for an overall grade, which works pretty much the same as the stars.

There are those that use the  letter system for an overall  grade like they did in school; F being a fail & A+ being the best.   Someone a long time ago had told me about   their criteria for their review how they do it and told me I could make use of it, and use it to add to my own.

This is an amalgamation of both of our criteria  so that you can use it or some parts in a review and other parts in a different one.

————-  THE REVIEW —————



(studio for movie or tv)


Plot outline (try to limit to 3-5 lines)

include the characters/ stars  & co-stars if you feel the need

Write about what you DID like about the movie/show/book/product

Then what you didn’t

What was your favorite part

a Favorite Quote?

If it’s a Book to film or a remake of tv to film or film to tv etc. Please be sure to note if you have read or watched the other.

Note the differences and if you like them or not

What do you like about the new version

What is t that you don’t?

 Ratings:Originality: 5/5   Length: 5/5  Plot: 4/5  Characters: 5/5  Cast/acting   Set-up/ Execution

Cliche factor





Depth/ Range /Emotion






CGI Action


Quality  (rise or decline)

Would you recommend this to someone?   & How Best to see/buy  in theater, buy, rent (or borrow) wait for  a sale or tv

Overall grade  Letter/number/or stars

—-I will likely add to this as I think of anything else —–

again remember please do not use the same outline to review anything, it sounds generic when you do and you want it to be heartfelt, that way other will know if they want to go ahead and see, read or buy what you have reviewed.

~ by adelesymonds on October 22, 2014.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

B.R. Young

Indie Author

Kone, Krusos, Kronos

A personal forum to express ideas, experiences, stories, etc.

The Published Pen

Exciting news, tips, and industry tricks from Pen Name Publishing and French Press Bookworks, boutique publishing houses for all of your independent needs.

Elisabeth Wheatley

Dangerous girls and boys who love them

Storytime with Buffy

Let's talk books

Organic, Free-Range, Home Schooled Well Water

Collection Of Stories From The Great Whatever

bethanybull75's Blog

A topnotch site

Watch Nonnie Write!

"It's gonna be a long, long journey, but I'm ready..."


Books, Reviews and bookish thoughts


Jon Wilson’s 1920’s and 1930’s - a unique time in our history.

Julie Kavanagh writer

Me, my books, my world


Writing about writing

school Days

Good old days...

Ajoobacats Blog

Doctor, student, yogini, teacher, reader and observer

Flickr Comments

I like to support interaction


Up and coming writer

One step at a time

Let's learn creative writing together

Angus48's Blog

Keeping Reviewing and Ranting to an Artform.

The Linden Chronicles

Bestselling Thriller/Suspense Author of The Wolf's Moon and The River, PATRICK JONES, reveals stories never before told UNTIL NOW...YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! Copyright (C) Patrick Jones All Rights Reserved

A New Start in Life

Finding my inner peace...

All That's Written ...

Lucy Pireel - Author, reader, and blogger

Emma Lynn

Mother, wife and audlt ficton writer

P.M. Brown

Hope is never lost, it is only abandoned.


an adventure in reading, writing & publishing

Musings Of Two Creative Minds

Welcome to the world of Allan and Helen Krummenacker, authors of the Para-Earth Series. Here you will find information about our books, thoughts on writing, our adventures becoming indie authors, reviews of books we've enjoyed, and much more. So come on in and stay a while, we have much to share and would love to hear from all of you about your reading and writing adventures.


There's No Truth, Only Perspectives


Lizzie's Random Thoughts and Stuff


Just another site


The website where movies count

Greg Carrico's Blog

Just another site

Novelist/screenwriter Scott Harper’s official blog

Novelist/screenwriter Scott Harper’s official blog

Kelly Dines

Writer, bookworm, fantasy dork

J.A. Dennam



Books and Creative Writing

Geoffrey David West

Writing | Photography | Proofreading

Voices In His Head

Recognized as Blog Of The Year! (unfortunately, it was given the year 1910, the start of the Great Depression)


Just another site

Sandra Austin

Writing for Children, Life Stories, Life in General


This site follows Nicola


A Dotty Old Bat and Her Suitcase

%d bloggers like this: