Rules for writing fiction  FEB 23 2010

The Guardian asked a bunch of writers to share their tips for writing fiction. The responses appear in two parts. Elmore Leonard:

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. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange. I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances "full of rape and adverbs".

Here's Philip Pullman's response in full:

My main rule is to say no to things like this, which tempt me away from my proper work.

(via mr)

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