Sunday, August 25, 2013

Take Your Hooptedoodle and Shelve It

The Famous Author is still in mourning, unable to write or even talk much about the death of Elmore Leonard. He never met the man, but I know TFA is seriously upset he'll never get to read another of his favorite author's tales. Elmore should have been nearly done with his latest -- rumored to be titled BLUE DREAMS -- so maybe the boss has one left.

TFA might not know it, but another reason he loved EL was because Elmore Leonard's body of work helped my boss understand that characters tell the story, not authors. Authors -- Elmore explained through his novels and his own stated "rules" of craft -- are strictly banned from appearing in fiction.

Leonard also liked to warn about dialogue tags -- nothing but said -- and cautioned about detailed descriptions -- most readers skip them. But from my point of view -- Austin Carr's take on this -- I'd have to say my favorite Leonard rule is this: If it sounded like writing, Elmore rewrote it.

The literary school probably hates that quote. I'm not sure, I don't know many writers who think fiction is all about the words, the "hooptedoodle," as Leonard called it. But I don't have to deal with those people anyway, as humor REALLY sucks to them. I'm glad it's TFA who must run around in the diverse world of writers, some of whom believe Elmore's a hack crime writer. (Those turkeys need a punch in the nose.) But mostly, I'm pleased, glad and grateful TFA understands enough of Elmore's craft to let me tell the tale.

Thanks, Elmore. Bet you're making up a story right now.

1 comment:

Marshall Stacks said...

given his age, we all knew the day would come in our time, but that was no comfort when it happened.
Who said 'hack' in the same breath as his name? Not at all - a Shakespeare more like it.
As with Chandler, the back-catalogue stands up to re reading.
He was just a monument.