Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Recently posted a fun piece on Mystery Ink: Elmore Leonard's Rules for Writing. I don't really believe in rules when it comes to writing...but then again, for most would-be authors, they might come in handy.

Among Dutch's admonitions: "Avoid prologues," "Never use a verb other than 'said' to carry dialogue," and "Keep your exclamation points under control." Seems like sound advice to me.

I'm reminded of a critique Bill Buckley wrote some years back of Gary Trudeau's Doonesbury. Buckley pointed out that Trudeau used exclamation points on almost all of his dialogue -- nobody just says anything, they exclaim it! Of course, that's back when Doonesbury was actually funny and at least slightly relevant.