Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)'s Reviews > Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing

Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing by Elmore Leonard
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's review
Jan 13, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: borrowed, read-in-2011, non-fiction

I picked up this book after starting NaNoWriMo – I figured since NaNo would be my first actual writing project, I should get some guidance. And since I didn’t have a ton of time, what with all the writing going on, this one looked perfect – it was small and compact, perfect for what I was looking for.

Unfortunately, when I cracked it open, I realized it was far from what I was looking for. The pages are cardboard thick and there is very little writing on any of them–lots of blank pages, artful cartoons taking up 1-2 pages. Sure, as a fledgeling writer, this seemed promising that anything could get published, but Elmore Leonard is supposedly a good writer.

This book is expanded from an article Leonard had written and, when I finished it, I was pretty certain that it should have stayed as an article. Personally, I was happy that I didn’t pay anything for the book–even though it says it would make a good gift for any writer–as the price seemed way too steep for the content.

Yes, some of the rules are helpful, but I really would have liked more of an explanation. The most Leonard expands on a rule is probably two sentences, which is hardly worth it. I couldn’t imagine paying for a class where Leonard teaches these rules–if it would be anything like the book, I would feel very ripped off.

The whole book took me about two minutes to read and left me with more questions than answers. I feel like Leonard knows what he was talking about, but any writer who’s just getting their feet wet will find themselves asking “Why?” more often than not.

If you want to read this one, get it from the library. If you want to get it for an aspiring writer, refer them to the library book. Don’t waste your cash.
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04/15/2016 marked as: read

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