Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing

Jay B passed this on at Sadly, No!
1. Never open a book with weather.

If it's only to create atmosphere, and not a character's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead looking for people. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways to describe ice and snow than an Eskimo, you can do all the weather reporting you want.

Almost every rule has an exception, so Leonard's off the hook for everything, but sticking with these has resulted in some good work. Many of my favourite things break all the rules because I'm so like transgressive man.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

those are great. Also, never open with an airplane landing or waking up.