Unwarranted, unsolicited writing advice #3: ‘Like’ and ‘Seems’

These words, when used as part of description, are cop-outs. If you tell your reader how things ‘seem’ or what they are ‘like’, then where is your authority?
Are you showing them what you and your characters see in the world you’ve created? Or are you telling them that you yourself are unsure, and you need them to fill in the blanks?
Show your reader what it is, not what it seems like.

Unwarranted, unsolicited writing advice #2: Metaphors, similes, cliches

Any metaphor you employ should be original while offering the reader a new perspective on the object you are describing. Ditto similes—it should be apparent to the reader exactly what you are describing, and should make her see it in a new way.

Cliches are not allowed, except in the dialogue of an unsympathetic character, or a character who is stupid or portraying stupidity. One possible exception to this rule is a novel or unexpected remixing of a cliche in a way that, like the metaphor and simile, should expose the reader to a new view.