You need a good straight man (or woman) to bring your comedic, heroic, or otherwise unconventional characters into sharper focus.

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Elmore Leonard's punchy style and compelling characters has Hollywood continually coming back to his work. Some of the many adaptations of his writing are highlighted in this post.

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Two of the classic story shapes are "the fall" or "the rise." In these story arcs, the main character climbs to a peak of happiness, falls from one, or does a round-trip for maximum emotional impact.

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Being a demanding self-editor is a must if you want to be the best writer you can be. What's the point of pouring weeks, months, or years into a manuscript, then settling for something other than your very best work?

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You can be the sweetest person possible in real life, but if you want to write great fiction, you need to be the opposite. You must be the cruel overlord of your story.

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Unclear thinking is most often about being lazy and not fully imagining your story. Write with clarity of purpose, and your writing comes alive.

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