If you don’t recognize the name of the author, Elmore Leonard, you surely know his books and the films based on them, such as Get Shorty, Hombre, Out of Sight. Along with the TV series Justified, based on the U.S. Marshal character he created, Raylan Gibbons.
He has formulated ten rules of writing, that, though designed for writers of fiction, are important for anyone who puts pen to paper, or keyboard to computer screen. And certainly his last “rule” applies to any marketing material you may be creating.
- 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.
Got the idea?