I should have started this at the beginning of book 1, not the end of book 2, but here are my notes for things for me to look for. I'm sharing it as it might be helpful to other authors. I'll update it if I remember more.
Extra words to be removed:
3. ‘of them’
Mistakes made with word spellings, to be checked with ctrl-f
1. ‘awhile’ vs. ‘a while’ vs. ‘for a while’ - Rule: ‘awhile’ has a silent ‘for’ in front of it.
Homonyms and other similar words.
‘their’ ‘there’ ‘they’re’
‘will’ ‘we’ll’ ‘well’
‘through’ ‘throughout’ ‘thought’
1. Use of ‘she’ and ‘he’ multiple times in a sentence. One can usually be removed.
Example: “She doesn’t even trust Sir Danth and she doesn’t like me either.”
Remove the second ‘she’: “She doesn’t even trust Sir Danth and doesn’t like me either.” *crappy sentence either way, should re-write*
2. Use of ‘that’, ‘which’ or ‘who’.
3. Use of words that make sentences vague, such as “He appeared to be tall. He’s either tall or not, be definite. ‘appear’, ‘seem’, ‘sort of’, ‘kind of’, ‘possibly’, ‘rather’ are all vague uses.
4. I forgot what I was going to put here. I know it was important.
5. Options for said: told, stated, claimed, asked, answered, replied, responded, informed, advised, enlightened, pouted
6. Find missing words! Focus on the actual words and see the invisible misses.
Example: “She looked through the treasure chest see if the necklace was there.”
In that sentence, the word “to” is missing between “chest” and “see”. It’s very subtle and the mind fills in the word it expects to see.
7. Make sure things don't disappear or magically reappear. In one section, I had a character draw a bow and arrow . . . it was the only mention of it throughout the entire book. *facepalm* No mention was ever made of where she got it or why she didn’t use it in a later battle.
8. Remove duplicate statements. Did I just say the moon was half full in the last sentence too? the last paragraph? the last chapter?
9. Catch those missing quotations. Usually at the end of a paragraph, but they sneak up elsewhere.
10. Did I miss an opportunity to tell the reader how something looks/sounds/smells/feels/tastes? Color in the environment.
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