Craft: Writing

Elmore Leonard, Crime Novelist

MV5BMTgzNjQ4NjM1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzQ4OTEzNw@@__V1_SY317_CR11,0,214,317_Okay I say I don’t watch too much T.V. Well, I don’t but there are a few shows I don’t like to miss. Supernatural. Breaking Bad. Smallville (when it was on) and Justified.

Justified stars Timothy Olyphant as U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens, a character created by crime novelist Elmore Leonard. His sparse, in your face style stands beside great crime novelists like Chandler and Dashiell. He died yesterday at the age of 87.

He’ll be missed.

I love his 10 Rules of Writing. Even if you’re not into crime novels, his advice is spot on.

Here’s the list:

  1.  Never open a book with the 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 “said.”
  5. Keep your exclamation points under control.
  6. Never use the words  ‘suddenly’ or ‘all hell broke loose’.
  7. Use regional dialect, patios, 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.

Here’s some additional links:

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