Elmore Leonard, who died this week at 87, was the imagination behind one of my favorite movies — Hombre — and one of my current favorite TV shows, Justified. A man who never wrote in service to intellectuals or literature, he turned out novels and short stories for the market — westerns when westerns were in vogue, mysteries when the western market failed — and simply did it at a level that finally made the ivory towered dudes take notice.
His ten rules for writing are typically unpretentious and witty — and like all rules for writing should be taken with a grain of salt lest suddenly all hell should break loose (see Rule 6).
The long, productive life of a truly influential American writer comes to an end. He died with his boots on, which is the way to do it. Rest in peace.
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