Recently, I spent COUNTLESS hours editing two different novels. I ended many days with “crossed” eyes, my amblyopia pulling at my eye muscles. Often, I am chopping words from sentences and my professional editor in replacing them as fast as I remove them, especially the word “that.”
The suggestions below are ones, which were drilled into me when I was still working in journalism.
Words to Eliminate:
unpaid debt free up
close down/up linger on
most/very/quite unique convicted felon
past history advanced planning/notice/warning
free gift tuna fish
topple over new innovation
Never add “together” to these words:
assemble, combine, bond, merge, link, splice, staple, mesh, huddle, weld
Do not use these words together. Choose one or the other.
if and when 9 p.m. and tonight
hope and trust each and every
hopes and dreams/desires first and foremost
true and accurate basic and fundamental
Are there other examples of which you can think? I’ll be back tomorrow for a few more examples. Feel free to add your “key phrases” to the comments below. I would love to hear them.