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Elmore Leonard's Rules for Writers

Via boing boing, Elmore Leonard's 10 rules for writers, condensed here:

  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.
My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

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