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Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules Of Writing (2007)

Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing (2007)

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3.82 of 5 Votes: 4
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0061451460 (ISBN13: 9780061451461)
william morrow

About book Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules Of Writing (2007)

I picked up this book after starting NaNoWriMo – I figured since NaNo would be my first actual writing project, I should get some guidance. And since I didn’t have a ton of time, what with all the writing going on, this one looked perfect – it was small and compact, perfect for what I was looking for.Unfortunately, when I cracked it open, I realized it was far from what I was looking for. The pages are cardboard thick and there is very little writing on any of them–lots of blank pages, artful cartoons taking up 1-2 pages. Sure, as a fledgeling writer, this seemed promising that anything could get published, but Elmore Leonard is supposedly a good writer.This book is expanded from an article Leonard had written and, when I finished it, I was pretty certain that it should have stayed as an article. Personally, I was happy that I didn’t pay anything for the book–even though it says it would make a good gift for any writer–as the price seemed way too steep for the content.Yes, some of the rules are helpful, but I really would have liked more of an explanation. The most Leonard expands on a rule is probably two sentences, which is hardly worth it. I couldn’t imagine paying for a class where Leonard teaches these rules–if it would be anything like the book, I would feel very ripped off.The whole book took me about two minutes to read and left me with more questions than answers. I feel like Leonard knows what he was talking about, but any writer who’s just getting their feet wet will find themselves asking “Why?” more often than not.If you want to read this one, get it from the library. If you want to get it for an aspiring writer, refer them to the library book. Don’t waste your cash.

This is the kind of self-help/how-to book that is perfect for me, because honestly I hate that genre. However, I really do want to read more about what other people think about writing and about how other people write. I just don’t want to trudge through a million chapters of heavy text. This book is extremely short, simple, and straight to the point. A lot of the 10 are basics that writers already should know, yet somehow, we like to forget them or sometimes even ignore them. Whether you agree or disagree with the 10 tips on writing, this book still gives you something to think about, and when it comes to writing, it is good to consider lots of options then go your own way. Honestly, I agree with almost all of them, but there are always exceptions to the rule. I took away some great reminders about writing, and I appreciate how little time it took to absorb them. I didn't have to read huge tracts of boring text to remind me how to make my writing interesting. That worked for me. I would even consider reading this again, upon occasion, just as a general reminder of the basics.

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I'm new to short story writing, and I really found this book helpful!I love this quote: "These are the 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."The light bulb just lit up inside my head, and I say, "Ah, so that's what it means to show rather than to tell: The creative writer should remain invisible throughout the story. He should let the characters talk/interact and live their lives within the story and not interfere or 'stick his nose in.'"The ten rules are as follows: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” ...he admonished gravely.5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. 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.

This was unnecessarily thick. Hardly does it give off a paragraph per page - most of which contain only a sentence or two - and the illustrations are nothing but decoration. What a waste of good paper.Moving on. The 10 "writing rules" came from his own experience and observations of different authors. Granted, these authors may know what they have been doing, but if you're not a book-lover or, in my case, if you are but not as widely read as Elmore Leanard (or if you haven't read any of his books), then you'd have a hard time understanding his examples. This book might have been helpful but since I haven't read any of his books, I'm suspicious about it's veracity.

This is a very short book. It’s straight forward, very direct and to the point. There’s no long explanation of why he feels how he does, why he feels he’s right over what classroom tells us about how to write or what experts say. If you’re looking for more in depth information on how to write or what the rules are of writing look elsewhere. This book is more like a good friend’s (of course a friend who’s an established writer) opinion, that you might want to reference back to every once in awhile. The book is ok and I agreed with what he had to say. I just wish it had been a tiny bit more in depth, but it was nice to hear what a seasoned author had to say. I bought this book at the dollar store and paid only a dollar plus tax for it, so for the price it was worth the money. If I had paid more I wouldn’t have been happy.

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