“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.” ~Elmore Leonard
Elmore Leonard’s 10 tricks for good writing:
- Never open a book with weather.
- Avoid prologues.
- Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
- Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”…he admonished gravely.
- Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
- Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
- Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
- Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
- Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
- Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
(* Excerpted from the New York Times article, “Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle.”)
On Writing: So many ideas, so little time. I will write today like a madwoman. I just need to finish this one thing. Send it. Plus work on that other thing for a CP. Then write, and write some more. I might have come up with a solution to a small plot problem while dreaming last night. I remember waking up during the night and jotting something down excitedly before going back to sleep, but I haven’t read it yet. I mean, I guess there’s a very slim possibility I came up with the solution to cold fusion. Or today’s shopping list from the farmer’s market. I will go track down my nighttime epiphany after I finish this thing.