Most of the “rules” people tell you about writing really boil down to the principle of “say it in as few words as possible.” / Take adverbs: people say reduce them. This isn’t because adverbs are bad, but a more specific verb is more efficient. / He ran quickly down the hall. / He sprinted down the hall. / Even better, combine it with the next sentence. / Sprinting down the hall, he ran into Bob. / There isn’t anything wrong with saying “there was” but it is a waste of words. / There was a fire in the fireplace. / A fire burned in the fireplace. / There are lots of other examples. Active voice, filler words. It all comes down to conciseness. Any time you can rewrite a sentence to use eight words instead of nine, that’s a win. / Now this is a principle, not a rule. Telling uses fewer words than showing, but isn’t better writing. / He was very tall. / He ducked as he entered the room to avoid bumping his head on the doorframe yet again.