Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy birthday, Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard
It is the birthday of writer Elmore Leonard (1925), whose career has spanned more than half a century. One of the most popular and prolific modern day writers, he is best known today for his thrillers and crime fiction, among them bestsellers such as Mr. Majestyk (1974), Get Shorty (1990), Rum Punch (1992), and Out of Sight (1996). However, he began his career in the 1950s writing westerns.

Leonard is acclaimed for his ear for dialogue and his gritty realism. Leonard counts Ernest Hemingway among his influences, though he said Hemingway didn't have a sense of humor. British novelist Martin Amis once told Leonard, "Your prose makes Raymond Chandler look clumsy."

Leonard's 10 rules for good writing are as succinct as his prose: 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" … he admonished gravely. 5) Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. 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 or things. 10.) Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

His most important rule, Leonard says, sums up the 10. "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."

Leonard sold his first short story, Trail of the Apache, to Argosy magazine in 1951. It is set in Arizona in the 1880s, the days of U.S. Cavalry vs. the Apaches.  It was published as the title piece in a collection of short stories in 2007. The title piece in another collection of short stories, Three-Ten to Yuma, was adapted as a film in 1957 and remade in 2007. Leonard's first novel was The Bounty Hunters (1953), also set in Arizona Territory.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Our specialties

Our specialties include Floridiana (Florida History, Florida Authors, Florida Related Ephemera), American History, Literature of the South, Military History (including, but not limited to, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War), Children’s Literature, Maps, Leather Bindings and Rare & Unusual items.

We also have a wide variety of general stock, including a large Landscape/Gardening section, a great selection of Christian/Church History/Bible Study titles, Beat Literature, and much more. Please browse our extensive category list.

Appraisal service

Michael F. Slicker, is one of about 450 qualified members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Inc., and its affiliate the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Condition of the book, demand for it and history of comparable sales are among the factors considered in evaluating the value of a book. Other factors may apply as well.

Please contact us for more information regarding our certified appraisal services. We encourage you to visit our website, Lighthouse Books, ABAA

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Michael Slicker was the founding president of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and has served as chairman of its annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair since its inception.

The 36th annual book fair is set for April 21-23, 2017 at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg.

The fair is the oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the Southeast. Learn more about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by 2008

Back to TOP