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  •  Elmore Leonard (13+ / 0-)

    There has been some interesting articles about Elmore Leonard coinciding with his news of his death last week. Here are two that I liked —

    Mother Jones: The Most Important Writing Tip the Late Elmore Leonard Ever Gave

    Leonard will also be remembered for his famous tips for writers: "These are rules I've picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I'm writing a book, to help me show rather than tell what's taking place in the story," Leonard wrote. Here are his 10 rules ... :

    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.

    And the Stacks cataloged all of Elmore Leonard's novels opening lines. Here are some selections:
    "Dave Flynn stretched his boots over the footrest and his body eased lower into the barber chair."—The Bounty Hunters (1953)

    [...]

    "At first I wasn't sure at all where to begin."—Hombre (1961)

    [...]

    "The train was late and didn't get into Yuma until after dark."—Forty Lashes Less One (1972)

    [...]

    "One day Karen DiCilia put a few observations together and realized her husband Frank was sleeping with a real estate woman in Boca."—Gold Coast (1980)

    [...]

    "Foley had never seen a prison where you could walk right up to the fence without getting shot."—Out of Sight (1996)

    [...]

    "Here was Antwan, living the life of a young coyote up in the Hollywood Hills, loving it, but careful to keep out of the way of humans."—A Coyote's in the House (2004)

    [...]

    "Raylan Givens was holding a federal warrant to serve on a man in the marijuana trade known as Angel Arenas, forty-seven, born in the U.S. but 100 percent of him Hispanic."—Raylan (2011)

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