12 March 2019
Members' own work
Elmore Leonard's Ten Rules of Writing
Never open a book with weather. If it's only to create atmosphere, and not create a character's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long.
Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in.
Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said" ... he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin.
Keep your exclamation marks under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose."
Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
Avoid detailed descriptions of characters. In Ernest Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants, what do the "American and the girl with him" look like? "She had taken off her hat and put it on the table." That's the only reference to a physical description in the story, and yet we see the couple and know them by their tones of voice, with not one adverb in sight.
Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
Elmore Leonard had an additional rule that he regarded as the most important, because it encapsulates all of the other rules:
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
Ashby Writers’ Committee
Chair: Mike Arblaster
Vice-chair: Kate Mainder
Secretary: Diane Buxton
Treasurer: Samantha Ridgway
Assistant Treasurer: Helen Bralesford
8th Jan manuscript meeting – members’ own work
22nd Jan Wendy Freer “A Step on the Ladder” (and other films)
12th Feb comp: poem up to 30 lines, on a theme of “Folly”
26th Feb Annual General Meeting
12th Mar manuscript meeting – members’ own work
26th Mar tba
9th Apr manuscript meeting – members’ own work
23rd Apr speaker: Ann Featherston: “Storm in a Teacup.” The Picadilly Circus waitress’s
strike of 1908
14th May manuscript meeting – members’ own work
28th May speaker: Erin Green (aka Bernadette O’Dwyer). Writer of “women’s fiction.”
(what was once called romantic fiction, but Headline have renamed it).
June manuscript meeting – members’ own work
25th June comp: prose on the theme of Shyness. (300words (=/- 10, not including title).
(9th July) manuscript meeting – members’ own work
23rd July speaker: Roz Watkins: Derbyshire crime writer
13th Aug manuscript meeting – members’ own work
27th Aug speaker: Ann Evans: novelist. Her 31 books include crime thrillers, romance,
YA, books for reluctant readers, children. She is an ex-journalist (Coventry
Meetings second and fourth Tuesday of each month, unless otherwise specified 7.30pm-9.30pm at Congregational Church, Kilwardby St, Ashby LE65 2FQ.
See 'Location' tab in menu for how to find us.
Membership £10 per annum
Visitors are welcome at a nominal fee of £4 per speaker meeting, £3 per comp/manuscript meeting (includes coffee or tea)