I'm always keen on sharpening my writing skills. It's especially exciting when you learn something new, put that knowledge to use, and see a positive a difference. My chaotic schedule keeps me from traveling and attending as many 'live' workshops as I'd like. In this case, the Internet is a blessing.

Yesterday, I tripped upon Elmore Leonard's blog. From what I could tell someone else writes the main posts and he contributes now and then. Probably when his chaotic schedule allows. *g* The post that caught my eye and made my day was Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing

Different techniques work for different people. Often it depends on your overall style and voice. Me, I'm a fan of lean, mean writing... like Leonard's. So I took some of his observations to heart and applied them to my WIP last night and, woah, wow, small changes, big difference.

If you're interested, hop over and read. Out of his ten, surely one will apply to you. Breathe new life into your work by breaking old habits. Oh, and, if you get a chance, could someone please come back here and tell me... What the heck is hooptedoodle? I think I get it but I'd like your take. If nothing else, what a great word. Hooptedoodle. *g*


Jennifer Elbaum said…
Thanks for the great link Beth!
Tori Lennox said…
I googled "hooptedoodle" and found this:

"hooptedoodle - A literary word that, technically, has no place being in this dictionary. Hooptedoodle is stuff that gets in the way of a story's making progress, it is wordy, unnecessary, space-taking, and, typically, should be edited out. Related to balderdash, folderol, flummery, foolishness, and fill; nonsense, prattle, blather, bombast, and baloney."
Anonymous said…
Hmm. A bit of Oppositional Defiance Disorder arises when people tell me 'Never". Of course, the other half of me goes, "well, duh. I know this." *g*
And on the other hand
you have different fingers.
Julia Templeton said…
Great link, Beth!
Mr. Leonard's rules definitely gave me food for thought.
BTW, I wasn't sure what hooptedoodle meant either. LOL!
Jordan Summers said…
Great advice, Beth. :) I write sparce, so it's nice to hear this. Of course, writing this way makes filling the book tougher. *ggg*
Anonymous said…
Lol, I don't follow #9 (the setting - and the characters' reaction to it - is an important part of my novels, thus there are descriptions) and sometimes I break #4, too, by adverbially modifying a said-tag or have a character whisper. :)
Beth Ciotta said…
Jen, Julie, & Jordan, glad you enjoyed the link! Gave me food for thought, too!

Tori, thanks for the rocking definition. I need to print that out. What a hoot!

Constance, one of my my rules..."Never say Never." *g*

Gabrielle, I can see where many of those rules wouldn't apply to what you write. Historical fiction... a whole other world! ;)
Anna Lucia said…
Anna's First Rule of Writing

1. Never say Never.

;-) Oh, you already said that... ggg perhaps I should modify that to:

1. Be suspicious of any writer who tells you there's only one 100% right way to do something.

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