ELMORE LEONARD, 1925-2013…

August 21st, 2013

From this morning’s New York Times:

Elmore Leonard, the prolific crime novelist whose louche characters, deadpan dialogue and immaculate prose style in novels like “Get Shorty,” “Freaky Deaky” and “Glitz” established him as a modern master of American genre writing, died on Tuesday at his home in Bloomfield Township, Mich. He was 87.

I own many of Leonard’s books and, as a writer, I have studied his style and craft with an intense eye toward understanding how this master did what he did. His rules were simple to articulate, but might take a lifetime to fully understand and implement.

My personal favorite is Rule No. 10: Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. The great writers, like Leonard, know how to do this in their very being. The rest of us struggle.

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