Thursday, October 22, 2009

Elmore Leonard's writing tips

Mr. Leonard contributed to the Writers on Writing feature in The New York Times. You can find his list f 10 tips here.

Read the entire list. There are lots of good things to remember and apply. Plus, it's short.

But if you can't take the time or are too lazy to read it, he sums it up here.
My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can't allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative. It's my attempt to remain invisible, not distract the reader from the story with obvious writing. (Joseph Conrad said something about words getting in the way of what you want to say.)

Amen, Brother Leonard. Nothing can take me out of a story more than the feeling that I am reading something someone has written. I know that makes no sense, but if you read the list of tips it will. Come on. It's short.

1 comment:

  1. I read it and agree with most of it. :) Happy writing Jarrett!