Quote of the Week

For our most recent literary loss.


“Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing

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.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”

Elmore Leonard


2 thoughts on “Quote of the Week

  1. Ms Oh Waily August 28, 2013 / 8:25 am

    Clearly he went by the maxim of less is best.
    I must get to one of his three works on the list and see if he follows his own advice. 😀

  2. nannus August 28, 2013 / 8:43 am

    11. Break the rules.
    It depends a lot on the type of prose (e.g. in satirical prose or comedy, all hell may beak loose all the time).

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