To be, or not to be - that is the passive verb. *sigh* Forgive me William for abusing your most famous quote, but I was thinking about why are there so many rules about writing?
You must avoid starting all your sentences with the dreaded pronoun. He entered the room. She smiled at him. They kissed.
Okay. I'll concede this to my creative writing teacher (CWT). The above would bore the socks off me. Score is one - nothing for CWT.
The other buzz phrase is writing E-prime. Avoiding the dreaded 'to be' verbs.
The cake was made with lots of sugar, should be written - The cake tasted sweet. Or, the building was tall, should be - The building appeared to reach into the clouds.
Rats. Score is now two - nothing for CWT.
Next on the avoid list is "that". Now that I know that you shouldn't use the word that, I 'Control F' my document to find that word.
That was easy... No wait.
Learning to write in a more succinct and focused manner proved to be an easy task.