I’m half asleep while I write this, so when it comes out all gobbledywompus and I say something like “complete and utter freedom” (which happened last week when I wrote in this state) just chalk it up to the fact that I’m writing with two-thirds of my brain tied behind my back.
A few weeks ago somebody posted a link to Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules for writing and I read them and got really mad because they were all those “avoid adverbs and adjectives” types of rules that apply to some people but not others. The one that really got me was EL saying something along the lines of “I tend to skip the parts the reader skips.”
Well, I’m reading my first Elmore Leonard book in at least fifteen years. I checked _Raylan_ out of the library because I’m a junkie for Justified on whatever cable channel Justified is on.
Godbless, it’s a good think I watch the TV show. Because if I didn’t I’d have very little idea of what Raylan (the title character!) looks like. Leonard is great at the dialog, but he really can’t conjure a sense of place. The only reason I have a sense of place is because I watched the bleddy thing on the television.
There’s this writer guy I know through the internet and he’s ALWAYS disagreeing with me about things like this. He thinks EL is genius; the fact that Leonard has a lot of money and top selling books is a point in his favour, I suspect. I maintain that I like a story to tell me where I am and what it is like in that place.
I’ve long thought that there are different rules from different writers precisely because there are different readers of different writers. I don’t like Leonard’s style as much as Argument Guy does. A lot of people think my favourites are “too wordy.” So anyway. Writery Rules are not a one-size fits all thing.
And also, I don’t like this book. I’m also embarassed that I keep mixing up (in my head) James Ellroy and Elmore Leonard and when I read EL’s rules for writing I thought he was James Ellroy and I kept picturing _The Cold Six Thousand_ and all of its adverbs and adjectives and was really confused.