Elmore Leonard’s recent passing has brought out a ton of fans who’ve been quick to praise his gritty writing style, fast-paced plots, snappy dialogue, and insights into the urban underbelly of modern life. Elmore was also beloved by Hollywood: Many of his books, Get Shorty and Rum Punch among them, have been made into movies. Writer’s Digest interviewed him several times and shared the following online:
“The writer has to have patience, the perseverance to just sit there alone and grind It out. And if it’s not worth doing that, then he doesn’t want to write. …”
“A writer has to read. Read all the time. Decide who you like then study that author’s style. Take the author’s book or story and break it down to see how he put it together.”
“The main thing I set out to do is tell the point of view of the antagonist as much as the good guy. And that’s the big difference between the way I write and the way most mysteries are written.”
“It is the most satisfying thing I can think of, to write a scene and have it come out the way I want. Or be surprised and have it come out even better than I thought.”
“Write the book the way it should be written, then give it to somebody to put in the commas and ****.”
Elmore was close to 90 when his run ended and he has inspired many a writer with his creativity, brio, stamina, and commitment to his craft. Bravo, Elmore! Write on.