I receive Rollingstone Magazine. I have not paid for it in years. Periodically they send me a notice informing me that it's my last chance to re-subscribe before delivery will be ceased. They lie. Obviously my potential consumer eyeballs are worth more than I am as a old reader and rocker.
Yesterday I also received a copy of Architectural Digest. It is an exorbitantly expensive magazine with advertisements for things I will never buy. It seems more at home on elegant side tables in upscale New York apartments than in my simple Midwestern cottage. I don't pay for. Like Rollingstone it shows up unsolicited in my the mailbox. Apparently I am on a list somewhere.
And now unto Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing. Bear with me here, I'll pull this back together eventually. In particular note his summation.
- Never open a book with weather.
- Avoid prologues.
- Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue.
- Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said”…he admonished gravely.
- Keep your exclamation points 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.
- Don't go into great detail describing places and things.
- Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip."My most important rule is one that sums up the 10:
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."
I have regular online conversations with three other gentlemen. Mainly what we have in common are old bicycles, liberal politics, and an interest in art and design. A couple of them actually designed furniture for a living, whereas my design work was much more pedestrian. This would normally be part of one of our ongoing discussions. For some reason I am moved to throw this one out to the world. I want to make this quite clear. The following is not a value judgment, a right or wrong proclamation. It only applies to myself and my narrow opinion.
Now, let's get Elmore Leonard back into the fray. In furniture and interior design, I like nicely proportioned pieces, particularly Shaker and Craftsman, which feel at home here in the Midwest. But overall, I like an Elmore Leonard approach. I do not like furniture or rooms that look "designed". I think the furniture and rooms in Architectural Digest are ostentatious and just bloody awful.
If it looks designed, start over.
Thank you for your time. Dan Lestrud built-up a beautiful set of wheels for my McLean (gray anodized Gentleman 81s laced to Campy SR hubs with DT Revolutions) and I need to get some rubber on them before the football game starts.