Dutch rules for writing

Just spot­ted this on Grumpy’s blog. Elmore ‘Dutch’ Leonard — author of ‘Get Shorty’, ‘Out of Sight’, and count­less oth­er sol­id works — has a ‘top ten’ list that attempts to illus­trate the most com­mon writ­ing mis­takes and how to cor­rect them.

They all look pretty good to me. But I must observe that Dutch is rather strict when he writes that one should only use the verb ‘to say’ for dia­logue. I’m not so sure. Then, what do I know? I’ve only writ­ten one book. Dutch has writ­ten dozens. Perhaps I haven’t learned this one yet…

While I think about it, The Elements of Style con­tains, in con­cise form, just about every writ­ing prin­ciple I’ve man­aged to learn over the years — and plenty I haven’t.

Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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