Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them.

Elmore Leonard (1925-2013) American novelist and screenwriter
In “Ten Rules for Writing Fiction,” The Guardian (20 Feb 2010)

A frequent piece of advice from Leonard, e.g.:
  • "I leave out the parts that people skip." When asked about the popularity of his detective novels. Quoted in William Zinsser, A Family of Readers (1986)
  • "Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip." In "Making It Up as I Go Along," AARP Magazine (Jul/Aug 2009).

Added on 30-Jan-14 | Last updated 10-Mar-21
Link to this post | 1 comment
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Leonard, Elmore

1 thought on “In “Ten Rules for Writing Fiction,” <i>The Guardian</i> (20 Feb 2010)”

  1. Pingback: King, Stephen - On Writing, ch. 12 (2000) | WIST

Thoughts? Comments? Corrections? Feedback?