Back in July 2007, I posted about Excessive Words in my writing. Curse of the Black Swan (an unpublished novel of mine) was rife with excessive words.
My main three were:
still (had 222 of these)
very (had 96 of these)
I think it indicates a general weakness in the writing. Or perhaps breaking that rule with fiction writing: eschew verbiage.
That was nearly three years ago. A lot has happened since then (wow, a whole lot).
Anyhow, I’m currently working on Ghost in the Machine, my contribution to the followup anthology to Women of the Apocalypse. I’m knee deep in edits and I went back to that list of excessive words. And while Ghost in the Machine is 25K (1/4 the length of Curse of the Black Swan), you’d think that I’d have 1/4 the words listed above (so 50-60 ‘stills’). This time, I only removed 3 stills. 1 very. 8 justs. Interesting that once you can see your weakness, once it’s pointed out, you can start to correct even before the editing process.