I'd like to introduce you to THE book when it comes to style. You will not find a better writing handbook than this. I've loved many writing books, but this one is a classic. Take a look at the contents:
- ELEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE
- Form the possessive singular of nouns with 's
- In a series of three or more terms with a single conjunction, use a comma after each term except the last
- Enclose parenthetic expressions between commas
- Place a comma before and or but introducing an independent clause
- Do not join independent clauses by a comma
- Do not break sentences in two
- A participial phrase at the beginning of a sentence must refer to the grammatical subject
- Divide words at line-ends, in accordance with their formation and pronunciation
- ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF COMPOSITION
- Make the paragraph the unit of composition: one paragraph to each topic
- As a rule, begin each paragraph with a topic sentence; end it in conformity with the beginning
- Use the active voice
- Put statements in positive form
- Omit needless words
- Avoid a succession of loose sentences
- Express co-ordinate ideas in similar form
- Keep related words together
- In summaries, keep to one tense
- Place the emphatic words of a sentence at the end
- A FEW MATTERS OF FORM
- WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS COMMONLY MISUSED
- WORDS COMMONLY MISSPELLED
Repeat: grammar isn't evil.
This book doesn't sound like a grammar book at all, or a boring English book, either. It's a gem of potent advice. Some copies come with ridiculous cartoons, to illustrate each point, but I prefer the black-and-white text-only style. I'm strange that way.
I've had our library's copy checked out many, many times. I keep saying I need to get my own private copy. (Hint, hint - Christmas is coming up, Mom!) I would think that every library would have a copy of this classic, but just in case yours doesn't, I'd like to offer this site as a place to read the whole thing online. Isn't technology great?
Maybe you don't think less is more. Maybe your style is more "flowery, poetic, and full of adjectives and words." Fine. I won't try to convince you. Just get the book. And read it. If you still believe in packing in the words once Strunk and White are done with you, I dub you unreachable.