VS Naipaul's Advice to Writersfrom The Humour and the Pity: Essays by V. S. Naipaul

  1. Do not write long sentences. A sentence should not have more than ten or twelve words.
  2. Each sentence should make a clear statement. It should add to the statement that went before. A good paragraph is a series of clear, linked statements.
  3. Do not use big words. If your computer tells you that your average word is more than five letters long, there is something wrong. The use of small words compels you to think about what you are writing. Even difficult ideas can be broken down into small words.
  4. Never use words whose meaning you are not sure of. If you break this rule you should look for other work.
  5. The beginner should avoid using adjectives, except for those of color, size, and number. Use as few adverbs as possible. (As a student in Comp I or II, you should consider yourself a beginner.)
  6. Avoid the abstract. Always go for the concrete.
  7. Every day, for six months at least, practice writing in this way. Small words; short clear, concrete sentences. It may be awkward, but it's training you in the use of language. You may go beyond these rules after you have thoroughly understood and mastered them.

Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad "V. S." Naipaul is a Nobel prize-winning writer who has been called "a master of modern English prose" in The New York Review of Books and has been awarded numerous literary prizes includingthe John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Hawthornden Prize, the W. H. Smith Literary Award, the Booker Prize, the Jerusalem Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in British Literature. In 2001, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 2008, The Times ranked Naipaul seventh on their list of "the 50 greatest British writers since 1945."(Wikipedia)

Also, never underestimate the power of a KISS.