Here are some of the things on my edit list. Note: not every occurrence needs correcting. Sometimes "he said gently" is exactly what I want.
- Remove backstory from the first 30 pages
- Mark any sections I feel like skimming. These need to be energized or cut.
- Look for generic sigh, smile, nod, shrug. Substitute character-specific gestures.
- Look for she/he said/did x-ingly. Substitute a strong verb.
- Make the first description of each character memorable
- Remove words which say what has already been said/shown
- Make settings more dramatic (what is the impact the location has on the character?)
- x of the y can probably be y's x or cut. (Lawn of the house=house's lawn)
- Make abstract terrors concrete and personal for ordinary people
Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.