RIP, Elmore Leonard

 I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative. It’s my attempt to remain invisible, not distract the reader from the story with obvious writing. (…) If I write in scenes and always from the point of view of a particular character — the one whose view best brings the scene to life — I’m able to concentrate on the voices of the characters telling you who they are and how they feel about what they see and what’s going on, and I’m nowhere in sight. 

Dear Mr. Leonard,

I’m sorry I broke a few of your rules of writing when I was working on my book. But I have you (and
QT) to thank for helping me pay more attention to dialogue and character, and for teaching me how to lay off on the “telling” when I could be doing more of the “showing.” Hopefully I could take those lessons to heart, so that I won’t leave another word wasted whenever I write.

May every word you write be crucial in the afterlife.

Love, Stella

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Stella Torres

is the author of the adult contemporary romances Save the Cake, Crushingly Close, and Nine Years Away, as well as the short story “Be Creative” in the anthology Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Vol. 1.

In her previous life, she has worked in public relations, taught English as a second language, and even attended graduate school (twice!). She has lived in Indonesia, Honolulu, and Quezon City before moving back to her hometown of Los Banos, a few hours’ drive (with traffic) from the heart of Manila.

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