I'm struggling to be succinct in my sentences while still maintaining grace. Problem is, now that I've read all about the "rules", things like stripping adverbs that end in "ly", relying on strong verbs rather than adjectives, dropping gerund openings (the dreaded, "Blahing, he blahed" construct-Thank Chicken Freak for that lovely terminology) I feel my sentence structure is stale. Yes, perhaps "Subject verb object" is the strongest sentence structure, but it gets old. If the main action ought to come before subsequent actions, and actions are best dealt with in separate sentences, I am confined to the above sentence over and over again. I feel like I'm losing my voice when I try to be so minimalistic. Frankly, it sounds juvenile to me. How do I spice things up? For instance: I have two excerpts. Once using what I consider the "stronger" version, as according to what I've been reading. And one which is what I am more inclined to write. Disclaimer: this is fan fiction. Yeah, cheesy, I know. Better version? Quick and to the point, but lacking life and cadence. My natural instinct: There must be some happy medium. I'm trying to find it before I try to write a novel and embarrass myself. Care to edit these sentences to be lean and mean and still varied?