OUTSTANDING WRITING ADVICE IS OUT THERE—IF YOU ARE PREPARED TO LOOK
This blog covers a fairly eclectic range of subjects—everything from creativity to some of the more interesting developments in aviation—but I try not to wander too far away from writing (a broad enough topic in itself).
In particular, the budding writer is never far from my mind, so—every so often—I try and insert pieces which may be of some assistance to him or her. In that spirit, here is some advice from Elmore Leonard. I have trimmed the piece for length, so regard it as no more than a pointer. The full article is well worth reading—and is thoroughly entertaining. You’ll find it in that outstanding newspaper, the New York Times
Published: July 16, 2001
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'' . . .
5. Keep your exclamation points under control.
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.
Do I agree with everything? No, I don’t, but it is hard to argue with Elmore Leonard’s extraordinary success in the marketplace.