Writing Tips from Kurt Vonnegut

I came across these tips on writing from Kurt Vonnegut. I thought they were interesting and helpful, so I'm sharing them.

I especially like this thoughts on simplicity of writing...

Remember that two great masters of language, William shakespeare and James Joyce, wrote sentences which were almost childlike when their subjects were most profound. ‘To be or not to be?’ asks Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The longest word is three letters long. Joyce, when he was frisky, could put together a sentence as intricate and as glittering as a necklace for Cleopatra, but my favorite sentence in his short story ‘Eveline’ is just this one: ‘She was tired.’ At that point in the story, no other words could break the heart of a reader as those three words do.

...and on being understood, which I'm going to make into a poster for my students:

[My teachers] hoped that I would become understandable — and therefore understood. ...If I broke all the rules of punctuation, had words mean whatever I wanted them to mean, and strung them together higgledly-piggledy, I would simply not be understood. So you, too, had better avoid Picasso-style or jazz-style writing if you have something worth saying and wish to be understood.