I agree with saint for the most part, but I would like to add some qualifiers and a few extra points.

Don't try and use 'style', as it often results in incomplete phrases, or sentences overloaded with adjectives. The rule of thumb here is to read what you've written again and think to yourself, does this flow properly? Would I, or a real person ever be able to say this in real conversation, given the proper context? Follow your own instinct when writing, unless, of course, you speak irritatingly anyway, in which case, follow these guidelines (the common comma can never be overused :P).

I've recently started to use the following method on my pieces of creative writing, in an attempt to give people who read it more freedom with their imaginations.

  1. Write your piece/story/paragraph (I find sections of four paragraphs at a time works best).
  2. Reread it, and edit it so that it flows.
  3. Now go through it and remove any adjectives you can that don't set the scene or add to the mood. Ordinarily, there will be at least two or three that can be edited out, and if you have been overloading your sentences in an attempt to be more concise, there will be many more. Rip them out if you want to be concise. They don't matter.
  4. Reread it again, and edit it so that it flows. Much of the time, this will involve undoing the previous edit, but thinking twice is far better than not thinking at all.
  5. (Optional) repeat several times from step two.

I would like to make it clear that I'm not against the use of adjectives, and to most people this method need not apply. But it is seriously painful, reading examples like the following, which is essentially one big adjective-phrase jammed into the middle of a sentence:

"A man with a nervous walk and posture that just screamed, "I'm a target for office abuse!" and then sat down again and hid under the seat appeared through the wall which rippled as he came through."

Don't make your readers think you're bouncing off the walls when you're writing.

If you notice, there is nearly never any appearance of the '!' in serious literature, be it classical, popular, journalistic... Once, reading a Gemmel book, I was 200 pages in and I found one '!'. Out of all of his books, he has used the exclamation mark once, at the end of a character's exclamation, which was very well done. But if you try and use it to make a point, 90% of the time it will just make you sound rushed and unsure of yourself.

This may not apply to humorous literature, but face it, it has been done, and you're not breaking new ground if you use it to show comic amounts of anger.

Never abandon your grammatical control when one of your characters make a dash for the prison gates. The book is not excited, the people in it are. Avoid exclamation points like the plague (the only sure preventation is total abstinence).

Finally, I'd like to say that there is no fixed formula for a good writing style, only common 'errors' that people often hate. I read enough that distinctive authors have come to be associated in my mind with a flavour. For example, Philip K. Dick, with his depressed and paranoid themes always reminds me of an aftertaste of battery acid - although his style is perfect, and the range of possible styles of similar value is incredible. No one could ever pin down all forms of 'good writing style'.