There was just no way to write JIHADI: A LOVE STORY without a prologue (Rule #2), though I didn't call it that. (There is no prologue in FREED, my second novel.)
I still fall prey to a "suddenly" (Rule #6) every now and then and forget to edit it out -- guilty as charged.
I do use big, fat paragraphs (Rule #10), and some readers do whine about that. I justify this state of affairs by a) interspersing the big, fat paragraphs with smaller paragraphs whenever I can, and b) reminding myself that Nabokov breaks this rule on what seems like every other page spread, and dammit, Beavis, following a master prose stylist's example once in a while can't be all that terrible a thing to do. By the way. People say the same thing about long sentences. Supposedly, no one reads long sentences. That's hooey. In fact. If you vary them with shorter sentences. What you find is that. Long sentences rock. Because. They pull intelligent readers in. And. Keep you, the writer, from sounding like an idiot. Who can only communicate. In tiny fragments. Of meaning. Comma. Someone who can't be bothered. To create sentences. That stand up. To prolonged examination. Much less the sustained scrutiny. Of a second pass. Which is what I want my best sentences. Like my best paragraphs. To attract.
So I guess I disagree with Elmore Leonard there.
I should say, though, that the guiding principle of skipping the dull stuff in Rule #10 is sound, and I have read plenty of published prose that ought to have followed it.
This blog post is first and foremost a reminder to myself: Follow the damn rules. After that, it's a tribute to Elmore Leonard. His list of rules for writers of fiction is the best of its kind, I think. Hemingway has some marvelous advice for fiction writers, too, but it's extracted by others from his writings and interviews, and it's not in a concise 1-10 format.
I have placed special typographical emphasis on Leonard's advice concerning adverbs. Deal with it.
ELMORE LEONARD'S 10 RULES FOR WRITING FICTION