Elmore Leonard was an American novelist, short story writer and screenwriter. He wrote novels and stories in the crime, western and suspense genres. He was known for his crisp dialogue and his characters, which often had a strong sense of morality.
What is the most famous quote by Elmore Leonard ?
I spent most of my dough on booze, broads and boats and the rest I wasted.— Elmore Leonard
What can you learn from Elmore Leonard (Life Lessons)
- Elmore Leonard taught the importance of creating strong, believable characters with distinct voices and motivations. He also emphasized the importance of writing tight, efficient prose that gets to the point quickly.
- He also emphasized the importance of writing with an economy of words, avoiding unnecessary detail and dialogue that doesn't move the story forward.
- Finally, he taught the importance of having a clear understanding of the genre you are writing in and staying true to its conventions.
The most practical Elmore Leonard quotes you will be delighted to read
Following is a list of the best Elmore Leonard quotes, including various Elmore Leonard inspirational quotes, and other famous sayings by Elmore Leonard.
What do you tell a man with two black eyes? Nothing, he's already been told twice.
Using adverbs is a mortal sin.
Never use an adverb to modify the verb 'said' .
. . he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange.
At the time I begin writing a novel, the last thing I want to do is follow a plot outline. To know too much at the start takes the pleasure out of discovering what the book is about.
All the information you need can be given in dialogue.
Try not to write the parts that people skip.
Keep your exclamation points under control.
You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
Avoid prologues: they can be annoying, especially a prologue following an introduction that comes after a foreword.
Sardonic quotes by Elmore Leonard
Never open a book with weather. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways to describe ice and snow than an Eskimo, you can do all the weather reporting you want.
I don't judge in my books. I don't have to have the antagonist get shot or the protagonist win. It's just how it comes out. I'm just telling a story.
Don't go into great detail describing places and things, unless you're Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language. You don't want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill.
After 58 years you'd think writing would get easier.
It doesn't. If you're lucky, you become harder to please. That's all right, it's still a pleasure.
A pen connects you to the paper. It definitely matters.
It's like seeing someone for the first time, and you look at each other for a few seconds, and there's this kind of recognition like you both know something. Next moment the person's gone, and it's too late to do anything about it.
Never use the words 'suddenly' or 'all hell broke loose.'
I don’t think writers compete, I think they’re all doing separate things in their own style.
Quotations by Elmore Leonard that are witty and gritty
Don't worry about what your mother thinks of your language.
A man can be in two different places and he will be two different men. Maybe if you think of more places he will be more men, but two is enough for now.
Never use a verb other than ‘said’ to carry dialogue.
My most important rule is one that sums up the 10: If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
I started out of course with Hemingway when I learned how to write. Until I realized Hemingway doesn't have a sense of humor. He never has anything funny in his stories.
There's nothing like work to take your mind off your worries.
Bad guys are not bad guys twenty-four hours a day.
I don't want the reader to be aware of me as the writer.
Not dreams but night changes, not destiny but path changes, always keep your hopes alive, luck may or may not change, but time definitely chages.
I always felt, you don’t have a good time doin crime, you may as well find a job.
I've quit writing screenplay [adaptations]. It's too much work. I don't look at writing a novel as work, because I only have to please myself. I have a good time sitting here by myself, thinking up situations and characters, getting them to talk - it's so satisfying. But screenwriting's different. You might think you're writing for yourself, but there are too many other people to please.
Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue... I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with "she asseverated" and had to stop reading and go to the dictionary.
Skip the boring parts.
It doesn't have to make sense, it just has to sound like it does.
My most important piece of advice to all you would-be writers: when you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip.
These are rules I've picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I'm writing a book, to help me show rather than tell what's taking place in the story.
I won't read a book that starts with a description of the weather. I don't read books over 300 pages, though I'll make an exception for Don Delillo.
There are some people who have been reading me for years, and they keep saying kind things about the writing. That's what you're writing for, to get people to respond to it.
I don't believe in writer's block. I don't know what that is. There are just certain little areas that I know I'm going to get through. It's just a matter of finding a way.
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can't allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.
I try to leave out the parts that people skip.
The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in.
I'm very much aware in the writing of dialogue, or even in the narrative too, of a rhythm. There has to be a rhythm with it … Interviewers have said, you like jazz, don’t you? Because we can hear it in your writing. And I thought that was a compliment.
I focus on characters as individuals with attitudes and write each scene from a particular character's point of view. That way, even narrative passages take on the character's sound. I don't want the reader to be aware of me, writing.
It's my attempt to remain invisible, not distract the reader from the story with obvious writing.