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
Do you agree with these rules?
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