Invisible Writing

My most important rule is one that sums up the other ten: If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

Elmore Leonard was born on this day in 1925. His "10 Rules of Writing" offer advice to anyone who aspires to his goal of being "invisible" (as opposed to the kind who fancies the "hooptedoodle" of "language and imagery and the sound of your own voice"). Leonard's rules helped him become "the greatest American novelist never to be mentioned in the same breath as 'Nobel Prize' " (John Sutherland, Lives of the Novelists).


Daybook is contributed by Steve King, who teaches in the English Department of Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland. His literary daybook began as a radio series syndicated nationally in Canada. He can be found online at


Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.


What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.