Elmore Leonard, best known for countless novels and their film adaptations, such as Get Shorty, Jackie Brown and Out of Sight, was known for this gritty writing style and strong dialogues.
Here are a few of his gems of advice for writers (with my comments in parentheses):
I love quotes; good ones take an entire concept and condense it down to one or two lines. Some are pithy, some profound, some obscure and some obvious, but most always, they make you stop and think. They often relate universal conditions of the human existence, whether that quote comes from a present-day person or one that lived hundreds of years ago.
I often use quotes in my articles here, but I’ve never really had titled posts dedicated to them; I like to use alliterations, but “quote” doesn’t rhyme with anything practical in English – so (naturally) I went with Latin. [For the few Latin aficionados out there, please let me know if I’ve used the wrong form… there aren’t exactly Latin dictionaries floating around.]
I’d like to kick off with one of the wittiest writers I know of, Mark Twain. Here are five zingers (and I apologize in advance for the grammatical errors – I didn’t make the jpegs!); enjoy!
Challenge: Write a short paragraph (100 words or less) daily on a topic beginning with the sequential letter of the alphabet.
I collect quotes the way some people collect stamps; any time I come across a good one, I add it to my collection. I wish I had photographic memory so that I could pull them out at the drop of a hat, but perhaps such a gift would rather be a curse than a blessing in this age of information-overload. The exact quote in the right moment can sum up an hour’s lecture into one pithy point; they say brevity is the spice of life, so if you have something to say, make every word count!