Elmore Leonard was a highly accomplished writer and a man who just loved writing.

So we can thank him for the concise advice that he provided for great writing. I have to say I do actually enjoy some books that open with the weather, as several grand victorian ghost stories do, but being a horror fan as well may explain this. However, it is a cliched opening so a good piece of advice to start with and see his 10 tips for writing below!

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 and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip