He wrote a great article in 2001 for The New York Times
WRITERS ON WRITING; Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle
Below is a summary of his 10 rules – Full article at The New York Times
- Never open a book with weather.
- Avoid prologues.
- Never use a verb other than ”said” to carry dialogue.
- Never use an adverb to modify the verb ”said” . . .
- Keep your exclamation points under control.
- Never use the words ”suddenly” or ”all hell broke loose.”
- Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
- Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
- Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
- Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.
If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.