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I never liked hooptedoodle

Elmore_LeonardElmore Leonard, crime writer and novelist died on Tuesday, age 87.

He wrote a great article in 2001 for The New York Times

WRITERS ON WRITING; Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle

Below is a summary of his 10 rules – Full article at The New York Times

  1. Never open a book with weather.
  2. Avoid prologues.
  3. Never use a verb other than ”said” to carry dialogue.
  4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb ”said” . . .
  5. Keep your exclamation points under control.
  6. Never use the words ”suddenly” or ”all hell broke loose.”
  7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
  8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
  10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. 

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.