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135 Reviews
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elmore Leonard, 10 rules of writing
When I found out my long time favourite pulp writer Elmore Leonard had written about writing, it did not take a lot of thinking before I ordered the book.
A writer of journalistic texts myself, I always try to pick up what masters like Leonard have to say on the subject.
Leonards views are similar to what i already adapted,but some knew stuff were found to...
Published on May 19, 2009 by THOMAS DRAKENFORS

versus
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Version Warning
Perhaps this is a nice book to look at in print.

But Kindle readers beware: the text is only a few hundred words long and can be easily found on the net for free.

This makes the Kindle version very poor value indeed.
Published on February 20, 2010 by Mr. T. G. Cockerill


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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Version Warning, February 20, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Perhaps this is a nice book to look at in print.

But Kindle readers beware: the text is only a few hundred words long and can be easily found on the net for free.

This makes the Kindle version very poor value indeed.
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180 of 206 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A slap in the face of the aspiring writer, November 28, 2007
By 
Jeffery L. Smith "Jeffery Smith" (New Orleans, LA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing (Hardcover)
What we have here is an 85-page hardback book that has the contents of a 4-page article from the New York Times. How is this possible? You can use cardstock instead of paper, to make the book 3/4" thick. Then you put one paragraph on a page. And on other pages, you put one sentence. Make 85% of the book white space, and make the book pretty small. Add some pen and ink drawings on some pages. Pretty soon, this hardback book is starting to look like a hardback book. You can't bend the pages (remember that they are made of cardstock). How long does it take to read this hardback book? A little bit longer than reading an essay in the NY Times. The pages are easier to turn in the NY Times.

It is interesting that the Tag Suggestions provided by Amazon.com include the terms "ripoff" and "rip off". I'll choose "rip off" as it takes up more space and will make this review seem much more like the length of a hardback book.
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89 of 103 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a bit of a joke, November 1, 2007
By 
Frank Loose (Lawrenceville, GA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing (Hardcover)
If you want a book that will help you improve your fiction writing, this, in my opinion is not it. It is nothing more than a magazine article stretched to fill a book. And i use the word "fill" loosely; there is a lot of white on the pages. Disappointing, too, because the author does know a thing or two about dialogue; he just chose not to share any of that in this book. For something really worth reading, I suggest Stein on Writing, and The Art and Craft of Novel Writing, by Oakley Hall.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elmore Leonard's rules for writng like Elmer Leonard, February 25, 2008
This book is considered by many readers a rip-off, a magazine article bloated into a book.
My own thought upon reading the rules themselves is that they are simply Leonard's rules for describing his own successful form of mystery story - telling.
His rules are primarily rules for what not to do, rules for making the writing economical, for making the story move without distraction.
Do not open the story with descriptions of the weather: Do not write a prologue: Never use a verb for dialogue other than 'said': Avoid detailed description of characters: Don't go into detail describing places and things: If it sounds like 'writing' correct it i.e. He explains that 'writing' is that too complicated in which one begins sentences with dependent clauses.
All in all a quite meager recipe although it does describe Leonard's practice.
If one wants to read something wonderful although a bit unkind on rules and writing one should look at Mark Twain's great essay on the errors in the writing of Fenimore Cooper.
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69 of 81 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sight Unseen, November 12, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing (Hardcover)
I ordered this "book" prior to its release because I couldn't see how I could go wrong with Elmore Leonard. But I did go wrong, very wrong. It is, as other reviewers have detailed, a flimsy, no-brainer of a book, whose contents would barely fill the dustcover of one of Mr. Leonard's bonafide masterpieces.

Never buy a book on the strength of its cover: A hackneyed, yet valid, addage that I disregarded with true regret. On the strength of this experience I will never order another book without being able to glimpse its contents first.

I am also disappointed that Amazon would ballyhoo this book and solicit preorders without some caveat to fans of Mr. Leonard who had good reason to expect so much more.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, January 12, 2008
This review is from: Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing (Hardcover)
I was very disappointed in the content of this book. I was expecting some meaty advice on writing and instead got cute pen & ink drawings and no helpful info. A waste of time and money!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elmore Leonard, 10 rules of writing, May 19, 2009
This review is from: Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing (Hardcover)
When I found out my long time favourite pulp writer Elmore Leonard had written about writing, it did not take a lot of thinking before I ordered the book.
A writer of journalistic texts myself, I always try to pick up what masters like Leonard have to say on the subject.
Leonards views are similar to what i already adapted,but some knew stuff were found to.
And the layout is really nice, just as the illustrations.
Leonards rules are the best you can get, and he has adapted them on this text too, which makes it short and effective.
Maybe a bit too effective.
It doesn't take more than half an hour to read through the book.
But on the other hand, that is part of his message.
Take away everything unnecessary.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing -- would be better as a pamphlet, August 11, 2010
By 
Elmore Leonard is a terrific writer, and I admire his stuff. I have written non-fiction for 40 years, and my conclusion is that this book is a mere shadow of what it could have been.

Of the 89 pages, printed on very thick paper to give the volume some substance, fully 41 are blank. Many of the remainder contain a sentence or a brief paragraph.

All the advice, which is excellent, could have been delivered in a pamphlet. I expect a book on writing to contain more, well, writing.

I got this book used, but I still feel ill-used.

You'll get more good advice for less money if you pick up a copy of "On Writing Well" by Zinsser
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For Leonard completists only, November 15, 2007
By 
DB Cooper (Parts Unknown) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing (Hardcover)
First, I LOVE Elmore Leonard. He's probably my favorite writer.
Second, I LOVE this list. I printed it out when it was first published, and re-read it ever few months. It's the best concise, practical guide to writing that I've seen.

But I really regret buying this book. I read it in 5-6 minutes, and honestly, that's only because I had to turn the page so often (one sentence per page. Seriously).

I had assumed that this was the original article, revised and expanded. It's not. It's the article, chopped to bits, and printed on fancy paper with some nice illustrations. My copy isn't even worthwhile as a collectable, as the sticker on the back cover was apparently applied by a drunken bonobo.

-- Edited to address reviews that say we should appreciate Leonard's brevity. I'd agree, if this information hadn't already been published in a more appropriate format -- the NYT article. It's great, great information. It's just not a book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good rules but not enough to fill a book, January 2, 2012
Let me start this by saying I love Elmore Leonard and I've got a summary of his ten rules of writing pinned up on my wall. With that being said, do not buy this book. The rules are great, but they're taken from an article Mr. Leonard once wrote for the New York Times. There's nothing new added to this, you can just do a search for the rules and save yourself some cash.

At the very least, there should have been additional material in here. Use each of the rules to start off a chapter explaining why Mr. Leonard considers this a good rule, with examples as well. That would have made for a great read.

On the basis of the rules itself, I want to award this five stars. They're rules I feel every writer should incorporate into their work. But as a book, it's overpriced and severely lacking in content. On that I would give it one star. So that's how I came to my three star halfway point.
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Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing
Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing by Elmore Leonard (Hardcover - October 30, 2007)
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