Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

#WritingTips Mondays: Elmore Leonard's Iconic Rules for Writing

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Elmore Leonard

Sometimes the most important advice for writers falls under the category of "what not to do". As we continue our #WritingTips Mondays, we can't overlook one of the most beloved lists of writing rules ever, from American titan Elmore Leonard.

Leonard's iconic list focuses mostly on common pitfalls writers are often best to avoid, decrying the use of adverbs, prologues, and dialogue tags apart from the workhorse "said".

Whatever point you're at in your writing life, and whether you're reading them as a refresher or for the first time, Leonard's rules are classics. While rules are made to be broken in writing, Leonard's advice has stood the test of time, and saw Leonard himself in good stead for over 40 novels, including fan favourites like Get Shorty and Rum Punch, the latter of which became the film Jackie Brown.

The list ends with Leonard's famous and fantastic quote (and indeed one of the most famous quotes about writing advice): "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."

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