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Elmore Leonard Talks Writing In Never-Before-Seen Videos

The great crime and suspense novelist died on Aug. 20. In two short videos shot in 2009, he discussed his process and his 10 rules for writers.

Leonard was best known for his suspenseful and snappy crime novels such as Get Shorty and Out of Sight. Twenty-six (!) of his novels and stories have been adapted for the screen.

Rob Kozloff / AP

Following his death, his 10 rules for writers have been widely discussed. The rules included controversial rules such as “avoid detailed descriptions of characters,” and the wise advice “try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.”

In these newly uncovered interviews shot in the HarperCollins VideoStudio in 2009, Leonard discusses his writing process, saying, “I don’t want to know the ending.”

And, summarizing the takeaway from his 10 rules, “If it sounds like writing, rewrite it.”

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