Elmore Leonard with rules to remain invisible when writing a book that help show rather than tell. Number 10 and the unofficial number 11:
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
A rule that came to mind in 1983. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them. What the writer is doing, he’s writing, perpetrating hooptedoodle, perhaps taking another shot at the weather, or has gone into the character’s head, and the reader either knows what the guy’s thinking or doesn’t care. I’ll bet you don’t skip dialogue.
My most important rule is one that sums up the 10:
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.
Substitute the word “writing” for whatever it is you do, and this becomes the most important rule for making – not only true for writing, but for anything we make.