While browsing aimlessly, I happened upon an article on The Guardian on rules for writing.
I was completely taken with Elmore Leonard’s advice. Some excerpts:
3 Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue […]
4 Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said” […]
5 Keep your exclamation points under control […]
8 Avoid detailed descriptions of characters […]
My thoughts exactly. I’m going to have to read this guy.