My latest interview, live now on http://indiespotlight.org
Elmore Leonard: 10 Rules
Among all the lists of writing rules and advice, this one ranks high, in my opinion. Simple, yet so important.
- Never open a book with weather.
- Avoid prologues.
- Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
- Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”…he admonished gravely.
- Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
- Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
- Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
- Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
- Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
- 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.
* Excerpted from the New York Times article, “Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle”
Some of you might agree with these, some might not. Feel free to add links to additional lists/tips in the comment section below.
Let the discussion begin…
Some have called for a boycott of Amazon. Read the article excerpt below.
“Self-published authors responded to Preston’s open letter on Thursday with their own petition, which now boasts over 3,000 signatures.
Launched by Howey – author of the hit dystopian novel Wool – and others including the bestselling thriller writers JA Konrath and Barry Eisler – the letter urges readers not to boycott Amazon, arguing that the online giant has liberated authors and readers alike from the clutches of “New York Publishing”.
“Major publishers like Hachette have a long history of treating authors and readers poorly,” the petition states. “Amazon, on the other hand, has built its reputation on valuing authors and readers dearly. The two companies didn’t simultaneously change directions overnight.”
“Amazon has done more to liberate readers and writers than any other entity since Johannes Gutenberg refined the movable type printing press”, the petition continues, adding that “Amazon is growing overall readership while liberating the voices of countless writers, adding to the diversity of literature”.
“A large percentage of the ebooks sold on Amazon are from independent authors. You have validated our decision to write and to publish. Don’t let the wealthiest of writers convince you to turn away,” the authors write.”
Please take a moment to read and sign the petition.
Indie Hero thanks you…
Happy 4th of July.
Be safe, and in the spirit of independence, buy an indie book.
Also, don’t blow your fingers off and definitely leash your dog so he doesn’t wage war on your campground.
“Meth, memories, and monsters.”
The Amazon Kindle version of Dream Brother is $2.99 (40% off) until midnight, July 4th, 2014. Here are the links:
Dream Brother: A Novel by Brian Marggraf
San Francisco, California. Fifty hills surrounded by the cold waters of the ocean and the bay. City of rebellion and revolution. Smothered by fog daily.
This is the place where Jacob Gavel grew up, the place he ran away from at twenty, and the place he never thought he’d come back to.
The city’s in the middle of its second financial renaissance. A century and a half earlier, gold nuggets. In the year 2000, silicon microchips. The dot-com boom created hundreds of new companies, swollen with capital and potential, profitable only in theory, run by young professionals with a lot of disposable income.
After Jacob, a fledgling sculptor, leaves a failed marriage and flees New York City, he returns home, welcomed by his mentally ill mother, subordinate father, and successful sister. As he settles in, he discovers a family secret. He had a twin brother who died in the womb right next to him. When the shock wears off, his reality becomes clear. He’s alone, broke, and unemployed. In an attempt to rebuild his life, he takes a low-paying job as a mental health case manager, but with all the tech money flooding the city, his childhood friend, Paul, has a better idea.
His fresh start spoils. Events trigger his dreams, and his dreams resurrect childhood memories, propelling him forward on a sleep-deprived, speed-fueled mission to find recognition, love, and revenge.