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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

'Leave Out the Parts Readers Skip'

"I try to leave out the parts that readers skip." - Elmore Leonard


Leonard's earliest novels were published back in the 1950s and were mostly Westerns, before he went on to specialize in crime fiction and suspense thrillers.  Born in 1925, Leonard probably had more books made into movies and television shows than any other writer.

Among his best-known:  Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Hombre, and 3:10 To Yuma, which has been made and remade – and was a hit each time, no matter who were the “stars.”  As most of them said “All we had to do was say his words and we couldn’t help but succeed.”

Elmore Leonard

One of my favorite TV series, Justified, was a multi-season Leonard hit.  Again, it is the model of great writing: concise, clear and exciting. 

  “If it sounds like writing I just re-write it.  Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go," Elmore said of his writing approach.   "I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.”  


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