Friday, October 12, 2007

Get Elmore

While Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty, Up in Honey’s Room) turned 82 yesterday, fans might celebrate his birthday later this month with the purchase of the author’s first work of non-fiction, Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing. We’ve yet to see the book, but Leonard’s notoriously no nonsense style, as well as the tantalizing tidbits about writing he’s let fly over the years, makes us think the 96-page book will be one to stand up for.

Leonard has been credited with telling writers not to “write what the reader will skip over anyhow,” and advising them to “never use an adverb to modify ‘said.’” So it’s hard not to try to imagine which few words this man of not many of them will choose to impart in Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing.

One lucky reader of January Magazine’s sister publication, The Rap Sheet, won’t have to imagine. The Rap Sheet will be giving away a signed and numbered copy of the book, one of only 10 the publisher is producing. “It’s being left up to us to decide how this exclusive edition ought to be disseminated,” writes editor J. Kingston Pierce. “Because we just received this invitation ... we haven’t determined yet how to choose this book’s lucky winner. Maybe through a trivia contest? Or perhaps a beauty competition, with the signed volume going to whoever looks best in a bikini? While that latter approach might brighten up our rain-dreary days, it’s altogether too commonplace. There’s got to be a better idea.”

Pierce is taking suggestions prior to deciding what sort of contest will determine this rare copy’s new owner. We’ll let you know when he nails down and posts the rules. Pierce’s first post on the topic is here.

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