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All Quotes by author - Elmore Leonard
" A friend of mine who is in the publishing business knew I was writing a book, and he said, 'Have you said anything yet about the good guy? Because I know you spend so much time with the bad guys.' Because they're fun. So then you have to make the good guy fun, in order to compete. That's the challenge. "
" Everyone has his own sound. I'm not going to presume how to tell anybody how to write. "
" I can write anywhere. But I don't use a computer, and I could never write on a laptop. I hate the sound of computers; it's too dull, like it's not doing anything for you. "
" I decided to write Westerns because there was a terrific market for Westerns in the '50s. There were a lot of pulp magazines, like 'Dime Western' and '10 Story Western' that were still being published. The better ones paid two cents a word. And I thought, 'I like Westerns.' "
" I do have fun writing, and a long time ago, I told myself, 'You got to have fun at this, or it'll drive you nuts.' "
" I don't believe in writer's block or waiting for inspiration. If you're a writer, you sit down and write. "
" I don't get in a position to be frightened. I don't do anything dangerous, and I always pay my bills. "
" I don't have any of the modern electronics at all. I know the Internet would be a distraction. I would see things that interested me and never get back to writing. "
" I don't have any of the modern stuff. I don't have e-mail. I don't have a computer! "
" I don't want to write any more screenplays, I'll tell you that right now. It's a waste of time. You've got too many people who think they have the answer to a good screenplay and they don't. No one knows. "
" I do this a lot with names. I'll start with a name, and then for some reason he won't talk much, or he's older than I pictured him just because of a name I give him. So then I finally get the right name, and I can't shut the guy up. This always happens. There's always a character who gives me trouble that way. "
" If I have several bad guys and I only want to end up with one of them, then I have to decide which one I want in the end. And normally it's the one who is the most interesting talker. "
In The End
" If I just sit here, what am I going to do? I don't have a trade. I don't teach or anything. I just love to make up characters and gradually build a story around them. "
" If work was a good thing, the rich would have it all and not let you do it. "
" If you take a few days to write an outline, you're just making up scenes that you think will work, that you think will be interesting. But as you write it, other ideas occur - better ideas that have to do with what you're writing. "
" I get letters. I get several a week, I think. A lot of people want a picture, a lot of people just want an autograph. "
" I got halfway through 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.' I don't get it at all. What's the big thrill? It's boring. "
" I have fun writing. I don't make it a chore. I don't have to struggle with it. "
" I left advertising as fast as I could in 1961. And I haven't ever thought about going back. "
" I'm not aware of a cadence when writing, but I hear it after. I write in longhand, and that helps. You're closer to it, and you have to cross things out. You put a line through it, but it's still there. You might need it. When you erase a line on a computer, it's gone forever. "
" I'm not going to write for posterity. I'm going to write to make a buck. "
" I never know what I'm going to write next. If I'm still writing the book but I'm very near the end, and I begin to think of what I'd like to do next, then I'll know that what I'm writing is in hand. I'll think of an ending and it will be fine. "
" I never see my bad guys as simply bad. They want pretty much the same thing that you and I want: they want to be happy. "
" I once saw Dizzy Gillespie at a live show, and it made me want to go home immediately and start writing. "
" I really - I don't take my work that seriously, and I think that's what keeps me loose. If I try to write, if I catch myself trying to write, I'll fall right on my face. I'll see it. If I see in the prose that I'm - 'Boy, look at me writing,' I rewrite it. I rewrite it because I don't, because I think it's distracting. "
" I still read Hemingway. I still read his short stories because they're so good. He doesn't waste any words. "
" I think any writer is a fool if he doesn't do it for money. There needs to be some kind of incentive in addition to the project. It all goes together. It's fun to sit there and think of characters and get them into action, then be paid for it. "
" I think the best advice I give is to try not to write. Try not to overwrite, try not to make it sound too good. Just use your own voice. Use your own style of putting it down. "
" I try to leave out the parts readers skip. "
" It took me 20 years to buy an electric typewriter, because I was afraid it would be too sensitive. I like to bang the keys. I'm doing action stories, so that's the way I like to do it. "
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