There are no valid rules for creative writers, we are told. I'm not so sure about that. Strikes me as the sort of arty-farty, laissez-faire nonsense a Frenchie might promulgate. So, some valid, iron-clad rules: 1) Do not write if you are in a coma. As a general rule the results will be unimpressive. 2) Do not choose a mode of life such that you are never able to get hold of implements that might be used for writing. 3) If your date of birth is the 16th April 1940, you were a middling junior athlete and your politics are a peculiar mix of the dumb and the obnoxious, do not write. No good will come of it. Avoiding tautologies where you can...do we have any more?