We could debate if Elmore Leonard has the best advice for writers, but I consider his short list of 10 one of the best. Watch his interesting short video and read the list at the bottom of this link: Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules
It’s refreshing to hear him preface his advice in the shore video with, “They might might be helpful, they might not, but see what you think.” This from an author far more qualified than many others who freely issue writing commandments.
Leonard’s modesty belies the high praise he received during his career. Perhaps his laid back delivery came from his birthplace, New Orleans, although the family moved to Detroit when he was young.
Get Shorty, Rum Punch, and Out of Sight are just three of his over 40 novels that totaled tens of millions in sales. I won’t even get into his short stories. He has been called “the Dickens of Detroit” for his intimate portrayals of the city’s residents.
Leonard was known for strong dialogue, praised by such as Saul Bellow, Martin Amis, and Stephen King. His awards include the National Book Award Medal for Distinguished Contribution in 2012, the 2008 F. Scott Fitzgerald Award for outstanding achievement in American literature, and the 1992 Grand Master Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.
If you skipped over the link I gave you before, are you now convinced this man just might have something to tell you? Here’s that link again: Advice from Leonard Elmore
His personal rule to summarize the 10: “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
Hemingway was his first great influence,but Hemingway lacked humor. It was the 1970s crime novel The Friends of Eddie Coyle that set Leonard free. Another title for the “to read” list.