Re: RARA-AVIS: RE: Elmore Leonard's rules

From: George Upper (
Date: 21 Jul 2001

--- Bob Toomey <> wrote:
> Dick Lochte wrote:
> >I'm also weary of the "said" thing.
> "You're right, it's not new advice, but it still
> bears repeating," I insist
> adamantly.

I have to agree with this, as well as with the prohibition against adverbs. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned it yet, but an early example of this particular piece of advice is Hemingway-- certainly not only an admirable writer, but also one who was not the least bit soft-boiled himself. He claimed to write a piece, then go back through it crossing out the adjectives and adverbs. Tony Hillerman also said something to the safe effect at one point--if you're using an adjective, you probably have the wrong noun; if you're using an adverb, you probably have the wrong verb.

As for Robert B. Parker, his use of "said" exclusively
(I must have the wrong verb there) is about the only thing about his recent writing that *doesn't* bother me.


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