RIP Elmore Leonard

Kind of late, but it’s still an event to mark despite the delay.

And some advice from the dearly departed:

  1. Never open a book with weather.
  2. Avoid prologues.
  3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
  4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
  5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. 
  6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
  7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
  8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
  10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

Lev Grossman and Fanfiction

I’ve only now discovered that Lev Grossman – author of such works as The Magicians and The Magician King – reads fanfiction. Not only that, he recommended Archive of Our Own (also known as AO3) in his official capacity as a writer-type person for Time Magazine. Mostly I’m astonished because I’m peripherally involved in AO3 and I’m always surprised when I discover fannish kinship with an artist I like. I feel like when I found out Neil Gaiman also reads Gunnerkrigg Court.

Still, dear Lev does have a point that fanfiction is an important and unheralded literary movement. I wonder if he also writes fanfiction? I know N.K. Jemisin does. To be honest, I only discovered her professional output through her fanfiction when I started looking for other stuff she’d written. And I know of one English professor who writes Star Trek novels to pay the bills. Well, barring a drastic reorganization of the copyright system I don’t suppose anyone will ever discover the fanfiction that professional writers have produced. Oh, well.