Vivien Reis suggests to remove 29-ish words from your novel (if possible, of course 😁).
Blindly stripping them out isn't the way to do it, but you might want to go through your writing, and see where you do not need them.
She, of course, explains it a lot better here:
She also includes an example, which also shows that stripping out those words sometimes helps with converting 'tell' to 'show'...
Lucy felt the cold air against her skin and decided it was too late to leave. She could see the glittering of snow as it fell, wondering why her group hadn’t left when they had the opportunity. The snow would freeze them. Lucy knew there was no hope.
The cold air pressed against Lucy’s skin. It was too late to leave now. Snow glittered as it fell, their opportunity for escape dwindling with each tiny flake. The snow would freeze them. There was no hope.
The words (modified)
I modified her list a bit, because she's a better writer, and I make more mistakes... 😅
- Of (all of the)
- Probably, certainly, definitely
- Other adverbs (stuff ending on -ly)
- Down, up (when not required)
- Then, and (can sometimes be replaced by a comma)
- Redundant phrases (final outcome, actual fact, added bonus, close proximity, ...)
- The (but only when you don't need them, mostly at the start of a phrase)
- Some (in all its forms)