Today’s Inspiration: Elmore Leonard

“I try to leave out the parts that people skip.” ~Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard’s 10 tricks for good 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.

(* 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.

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