background preloader

Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules for Writing

Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules for Writing
Elmore Leonard — author of Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and Rum Punch — died today. What was it about his suspense thrillers that made them both popular AND critically acclaimed? Maybe his own writing rules will provide the answer. 10 things you should watch out for in your writing, according to Elmore Leonard 1. Never open a book with weather. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. And his most important rule, to sum up all the others: “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” What do you think of those rules? Related:  Life Style

Stephen King's Top 20 Rules for Writers Image by the USO, via Flickr Commons In one of my favorite Stephen King interviews, for The Atlantic, he talks at length about the vital importance of a good opening line. “There are all sorts of theories,” he says, “it’s a tricky thing.” “But there’s one thing” he’s sure about: “An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. We’ve talked so much about the reader, but you can’t forget that the opening line is important to the writer, too. This is excellent advice. Revision in the second draft, “one of them, anyway,” may “necessitate some big changes” says King in his 2000 memoir slash writing guide On Writing. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. See a fuller exposition of King’s writing wisdom at Barnes & Noble’s blog. Related Content: Stephen King Creates a List of 96 Books for Aspiring Writers to Read Stephen King Writes A Letter to His 16-Year-Old Self: “Stay Away from Recreational Drugs”

20 Upcoming Trailers Were Most Excited About With so many incredible films due in cinemas over the next couple of years, we’re going to have our eyes peeled as always for any nugget of information – some casting news, a synopsis, a couple of pictures, a poster... even a logo. And yet nothing quite gives us a true glimpse of all the fun and thrills like that very first trailer. So, with that in mind, here are 20 trailers that we currently look for every day and then throw a loud, crying tantrum when we can’t find them Bond 24 Why We're Excited: The James Bond franchise is one of the longest in cinema history, but also one of the most hit-and-miss overall. And yet last instalment Skyfall managed to exceed expectations, providing explosive action and a surprising amount of game-changing plot. What We're Hoping To See: A glimpse at a major action set piece followed by 007 making some quintessentially British remark. Avatar 2 Finding Dory Warcraft What We're Hoping To See: Just a first look at the visuals is top of our priority list.

5 Freewriting Secrets for Being a "Genius" You've heard of freewriting, certainly. At its most basic, it's about forcing your internal editor to stay away while you splash your most raw and unusual thoughts onto the page. In Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insights, and Content (2nd edition, revised & updated), Mark Levy tells how he uses freewriting, not only to loosen up his writing muscles, but to solve business problems of all kinds. Levy, author, writing teacher, and marketing strategist, shares a few "secrets" for making freewriting an indispensible tool: 5 Freewriting Tips 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Levy elaborates on each of those tips, and many more, using anecdotes from many realms. Copyright (c) 2010 by Susan K.

10 places of myth and legend - travel tips and articles Even though we can get to the other side of the world in less than a day, there are still places that resist becoming everyday. Over the centuries they have accumulated tall stories like Manhattan accumulates tall buildings. So pack your compass, reading glasses and imagination for a journey to sites of myth and legend. Here are ten places that are caught in the imagination more tightly than on any map. Zanzibar, Tanzania Image by phoosh Just the name 'Zanzibar' conjures images of harem girls giggling behind gauzy veils, carved wooden doors opening to spice-filled rooms and other images from The Thousand and One Nights. El Dorado, Colombia Image by *L*u*z*A* Veiled behind vine-draped trees deep in the Amazon jungle gleams a dazzling kingdom of gold. Valley Of The Kings, Egypt Image by archer10 (Dennis) On the west bank of the Nile River, across from the city of Luxor, lies the final resting place of Egypt’s pharaohs. Ys, France Image by Aided_Eye Troy, Turkey Image by myhsu Karakorum, Mongolia

25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer When George Plimpton asked Ernest Hemingway what the best training for an aspiring writer would be in a 1954 interview, Hem replied, “Let’s say that he should go out and hang himself because he finds that writing well is impossibly difficult. Then he should be cut down without mercy and forced by his own self to write as well as he can for the rest of his life. At least he will have the story of the hanging to commence with.” Today, writing well is more important than ever. So what can we do to improve our writing short of hanging ourselves? 1. Don’t just plan to write—write. 2. [The] Resistance knows that the longer we noodle around “getting ready,” the more time and opportunity we’ll have to sabotage ourselves. 3. Find your best time of the day for writing and write. 4. Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet. 5. Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. 6. 7. Hone your outline and then cling to it as a lifeline. 8. 9.

Designing character interviews that really matter (including genre-inspired questions) I'm sure you've seen a lot of character-interview posts, but I'm hoping this one won't be like most you've seen elsewhere, so stick with me. I'm writing it as an update and expansion of one of my most popular posts of all time, "Know Your Character Inside and Out." The post will have two parts: first, a discussion of what criteria make questions more useful and less pointlessly trivial, and below that, a list of questions that deal with world and identity, and with genre (so you can skip down if you like). Okay, so why should you conduct a mock interview with your character? You can learn a lot from an interview if you conduct it the right way. You will want to ask the kinds of questions that help you understand your character and where he/she fits in his/her world. world, culture, personal history, psychology, judgment, reaction, motive, action You can enter into this web at any point, but from there you should follow the interconnections to get insight into other areas. 1. 2. 3. 5. 6.

Timothy Hallinan - Writer's Resources Finishing Your Novel “A writer is someone who finishes.” -- Thomas Farber This section is for you if: You’ve started a novel but are having trouble finishing it, or You want to start a novel but aren’t sure you’ll be able to finish it. I’ve been writing novels (and teaching about writing novels) for twenty years, and one thing I’ve learned is how to finish. This section is about how to handle those things. Finishing a novel (or any kind of writing project) is a transformational experience. A long time ago, something funny happened to me. I thought I was a writer. And then my house burned down. So I made some notes on the book I remembered best, flew to Thailand, and wrote the whole thing in seven weeks. This area of the site is based on what I've learned since then.

bekindrewrite Photo by InterdimensionalGuardians. Interesting. It’s the year 2053. Earth has made first contact with an extraterrestrial race; socialist aliens who reproduce asexually. You open your well-worn copy to that famous first sentence, It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a large fortune must be in want of a wife…and you break down in tears, realizing this tale of class and marriage will mean absolutely nothing to your audience. Universal truth, your foot! Yet this is the challenge science fiction and fantasy writers face every day. We create whole new worlds to house our stories, then find ourselves struggling to keep up the pace while stopping the action every few paragraphs for a history lesson. But we don’t have to! Like so: 1. …and the jobs of the people he knows say a lot about your world. The major industries of your worldWho controls them / has the powerThe biggest problems with society More useful tools along these lines: 2. How was he raised? 3. 4. 5.

15 Ways to Get Paid to Write | Common Sense Marketing There’s a really great scene in Sister Act 2 (don’t judge me – that movie’s freaking awesome) where Whoopi Goldberg’s character is telling a very young Lauryn Hill to follow her dreams, quoting a book by poet Rainer Maria Rilke that says “Don’t ask me if you’re a writer. Because I say, ‘If all you can think of in the morning when you get up is writing, then you’re a writer.’” So whether you feel called to writing because of some deep-seated, internal need to communicate with the world and share ideas, or because you simply have the skills to write and want to get paid to do it – you’re a writer! Of course, writing for the sake of writing isn’t what we’re after here. So consider the following ways to get paid to write. Low Hanging Fruit Maybe you don’t want to be a full-time writer. 1. To get started: Go sign up for an account and get started writing. 2. To get started: Sign up for a professional profile on one or more of the sites listed above. 3. 4. 5. Makin’ a Living 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 1.

Nacidos en los 90: estas son las escritoras que llenan de vísceras la red Sangre. Esa es la palabra que define a buena parte de la poesía que encontramos en Internet. Y es curioso, porque cuanta más tecnología rodea a los nuevos escritores surgidos de la red, más vísceras y más intimidad desbordan de sus escritos. La tecnología nos vuelve humanos. Para la nueva generación de escritoras nacidas en la red, parece entonces que hay un nexo común. Nacidas en la red, sí, pero también nacidas en el planeta tierra alrededor de 1990. Aunque suene obvio, y aunque a muchos no les guste, en Internet la poesía está más viva que nunca gracias a todas estas comunidades. Caterina Scicchitano Leer a Scicchitano es como asistir a una terapia de grupo. Oriette D’Angelo Editora en la web de agitación cultural Sorbo de letras, y autora de varias antologías de agitación poética femenina, esta venezolana de 1990 es una de las voces más prometedoras de la nueva literatura de su país. María Mercromina Aleida Belem Salazar Alexandra Espinosa Rosa Berbel Leonor Saro García Annie Costello