Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing

Remembering the remarkable Elmore Leonard (Justified, Jackie Brown, Out of Sight) and his 10 Rules of Writing:

  1.  Never open a book with weather.
  2.  Avoid prologues.
  3.  Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
  4.  Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said” … he admonished gravely.
  5.  Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. 
  6.  Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
  7.  Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
  8.  Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  9.  Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
  10.  Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

Find further explanation of these rules here. And read more about Justified, starring Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins, here.

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Amazon Studios Greenlights Five Exciting New Kids’ Series Pilots for Prime Instant Video

From outer space to “normal street,” five new series optioned by Amazon Studios will take children on journeys of wonder, laughter, and creative exploration.

Amazon Studios today announced that it will be producing five pilots for Prime Instant Video, including its first for 6- to 11-year-olds. The children’s series were created by established writers such as Duane Capizzi (Transformers Prime), as well as a newcomer discovered via Amazon Studios’ open-door development process.

The pilots will stream on Amazon Instant Video and LOVEFiLM in the U.K. for customers to watch, provide feedback, and help determine which shows should be produced as series.

“We’re very excited to be able to introduce these original ideas and their talented creators to Amazon customers. After the success of our first pilots, we look forward to getting lots more fantastic feedback from kids and parents,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “For the first time we are offering live-action and animated programming for older children and continuing with entertaining, educational, programming for preschool-aged children—it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

I’ve been dreaming up funny adventures for Gortimer Gibbon for as long as I can remember and it’s incredibly thrilling to be working with Amazon to bring these tales to life,” said David Anaxagoras, creator of Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, one of the new pilots now in production. “With the unique open-door submission process that Amazon Studios offers writers like me, I’ve been given a chance to make my stories come to life. Instead of trying to ‘break through’ and get noticed in the traditional Hollywood process, Amazon has helped bring Hollywood to me and that’s exciting.”

Amazon Studios’ first pilots launched in April of 2013 with eight comedy pilots and six kids pilots. Of the 14 pilots, Alpha House, Betas, Annebots, Creative Galaxy and Tumbleaf were chosen, with the help of customer feedback, to be produced as series. The shows will stream on Prime Instant Video later this year and in early 2014.

The kids series that will immediately begin pilot production are:

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