10 Rules of Writing

A random stroll through the library or bookstore can turn my whole day around. I love the randomness of the books that catch my eye, and trying to figure out why that title or that book cover drew me in.

10rulesElmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing recently caught my eye at the library because 1) we’re a list-loving society and 2) I’m a writer always trying to improve my craft.

The book is small, filled with few words and many illustrations, and can be read completely in 10 minutes. The advice is solid and witty. You may want to take another 10 minutes to read it again.

#3 Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue. 

#4 Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”… 

These are ones I’ve heard many times but a reminder is always nice.

#9 Don’t go into great detail describing places and things   —  I can’t agree more. There are certain authors I love but at the same time, I despise their lengthy paragraphs of description. Get to the point or I’m going to skip a few pages and then be frustrated when I realize later on that I missed an actual plot point!

Which leads us to the tenth rule of writing that can not be argued with…

#10 Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

Obvious, right? But what are those parts and how do we, as writers, know when we’re boring our readers? Check out the book during your next local library stroll to get Leonard’s take on this.

 

Interesting Fact: This book was originally published in the New York Times in July 2001 as “Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation  Points and Especially Hooptedoodle”.

Advertisements

About Sarah JS

Aspiring writer, lover of words, book nerd, working editor, and permanent student of the world

Posted on May 16, 2016, in A Writer's Life, Book Review and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: