Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Elmore Leonard said...

Elmore Leonard passed away today at age 87. I haven't read any of his westerns, but I read many of his crime novels and always got a lot of pleasure from them. He was a crisp, clear, no-BS writer. He also published a short how-to book on writing back in 2007 that was based on the following 10 rules:

1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said" …he admonished gravely
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

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