Tip Archive

Leonard in BNHere is a list of Leonard’s Writing Hints up to December 2012.  After this, searching under “Writer’s Hints” will give you many more!  Happy Writing!!

Theatricality is visual, unusual, and gets the reader’s attention.  Drama holds the reader in an emotional strata.  [That’s] what [They are] engaged in. (10-13-94)

Readers want extravagant forms of behavior.  This makes them [The characters] larger than life. (6/21/96)

To keep a novel alive, use adventure.  Have a highly credible character that performs highly incredible things (8/20/98)

A reader’s interest is captured by what you tell them.  Not by what you promise to tell them. (11/5/98)

How to survive while waiting to be a professional writer:

  •  If you feel like a failure, go back into your past and find a time of accomplishment for something you once thought impossible.
  • Change the inner editor
  • Never accept rejection and believe what is written on the manuscript.
  • You need desperation

*  My responsibility is not to believe what I write, but to make others believe what I write. (5/14/98, Leonard Bishop)

Remember always,’ What’s at stake?”  4/23/98

A good story is like a motorcycle.  All the parts move together and move forward.  7/8/99

Remember when you wrote something excellent.  When you do it once, you can do it again.  (6/5/98)

We are onions with perceptions deeper than we think. We have to take risks and peel back the layers.  (8/22/96)

Always know a scene can get shorter.  Your first priority is information, then visual action, physical and historical background, succinct and authentic dialogue, extended imagery, and finally, ask, “Does all the material fit in the dramatic scene?  (11/10/09)

Continuity returns portions of what we already read into current material and extends it into the future.  (6/5/96)

Narration saves bulk.  Use it!  Start as though you are writing headlines.  (5/15/97)

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