#Writing Tip Number 10 – Elmore Leonard

Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

Elmore Leonard, Rule #10

photo of author Elmore Leonard

A good friend of mine, accomplished writer Charlie Price, shared a list of rules that make for better writing. I’m looking at this list, and #10 is intriguing. I think it’s good advice, but the problem is that I don’t know, without asking, what people skip when they read.

So I’m asking. What do you gloss over when reading an author you like?

I add the “author you like” because I’m assuming that you’ll skip a book or author entirely if it’s not to your liking. But assuming that a storyteller has hooked you, lured you in, then what would be the best way to “lose you.”

I have some theories on this point. If the conflict lags, or description is too long, florid or cliché, or the plot so murky that you have to bail out to get your bearings, then the author is in trouble, and the kindest thing you can do, short of hurling the book across the room, is to fast forward.

So my question to you, and I genuinely would like a reply, post or email, is to tell me what you (as a discerning reader) think this means. You might also give an example.

I’ll share the best suggestions I get.


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