Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing

Elmore Leonard has written more than three dozen critically acclaimed books during his highly successful career, including the bestsellers The Hot Kid, Mr. Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, Be Cool, Get Shorty, and Rum Punch. Many of his books have been made into movies, including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Jackie Brown, and 3:10 to Yuma.

He has written a new writing guide - Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing - with rules to help him remain invisible while writing and to keep the reader's interest. The book is quite entertaining with drawings depicting the 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 a adverb to modify "said"
5. keep your exclamation points under control
6. never use the words "suddenly"
7. use regional dialect 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

Experience Leonard’s cool writing stye:

Up in Honey's Room: a Novel
Latest novel, and sequel to The Hot Kid, and as in previous novels, character and dialog dominate plot.
The Hot Kid
Carlos Webster, who inadvertently gets his start in law enforcement at age 15 when he shoots a cattle thief, wants to be the country's most famous lawman.
Mr. Paradise
Rich wth comic dialogue and cop-shop color.
Tishomingo Blues
A daredevil diver performing in Mississippi witnesses a murder by the local Dixie Mafia, and must team with a black gangsta from Detroit to save his skin.

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