That was one of Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing. Number 6, I think.
Elmore Leonard died about six months ago. His career spanned over six decades. He was a prolific writer, and, in my mind, one of the best of his generation in what I would call the “pulp fiction” category. You know, the kind of mystery or thriller or suspense (whatever they were called back in the day) paperback you would pick up at your corner book store when you were looking for a good, fun, quick read. He was the master of offbeat, sleazy con-men characters who spoke in funny, clipped dialogue.
His Writers on Writing; Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle appeared as an essay in the NY Times a few years back. While irreverent like a lot of his writing, these rules bear heeding by all fiction writers and wanna-be fiction writers … especially his most important rule – the one that sums up the ten.
IF IT SOUNDS LIKE WRITING, I REWRITE IT.
Suddenly, I’m outta here.
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