Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Leave out the part that readers skip

"Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip," advised writer Elmore Leonard in his "Rules for DickersonWriters."  Dean Darby Dickerson quotes that rule among other "Lessons from Fiction" in the Fall 2013 issue of The Scrivener, a publication of Scribes, the American Society of Legal Writers.  The issue is not available on line yet, but check a hard copy for other useful guidelines, including Kurt Vonnegut's advice to give readers information early--"To heck with suspense." That guideline is especially appropriate for legal writers, whose busy readers often won't take the time guess at a writer's meaning.



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