Elmore Leonard's Writing Rules and Alan Massie
1. Never open a book with the weather. Massie disagrees - mostly this is fine as long as it is not overdone.
2. Avoid prologues. Massie agrees - with reservations.
3. Never use a verb other than 'said' to carry dialogue. Massie agrees - and points out that even these should be used sparingly. He says it is important to think about rhythm.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the word said. He agrees. He says they are lazy pointers.
5. Keep your exclamation marks under control. Agrees.
6. Never use the word 'suddenly' or 'All hell broke loose'. Agrees - show not tell.
7. Use dialect sparingly. Generally sound advice, he says.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters. Agrees - suggests one line.
9. Same for places. Only a qualified agreement with this since some authors are so good at this.
10. Leave out the parts readers skip. Massie suggests this should be amended to parts the writer finds boring to write.
Massie then goes on to consider Hemingway's three pieces of writerly advice:
1. Don't stop when stuck - always stop when you know what's coming next.
2. Always read over what you've written (as much is feasible) before writing again.
3. Don't think about it when not at your desk to give the unconscious a chance to work on it.
Alan Massie's own advice is to always try and hear what the characters are saying.
All useful stuff, I'd say - and an interesting article. It makes me consider things I'd not considered before, and something to bear in mind for the eventual edit (or diet).