Year ago while still learning the craft of writing, I found an article on a website . After all this time, I no longer have the name of the website or the author. I’ve used the following list on each of my books and all my other writings. I hope you find some use for it also.
After the final draft, edit using the "find" function for the words on the following list. Next, read the sentence containing the offender, and either correct it or leave it be, depending. They are all valid words, if used in moderation, but are prone to misuse, overuse and abuse.
"Fine Tooth Comb and Red Flags and Snags"
and – but (can indicate run-on sentences) that (unnecessary in most sentences)
that (when you mean "who")
nearly – almost
seem – appear
felt – feel
begin – began
would – should – could
down – up (as in sit down, stand up – can be redundant)
got – get
Look for passive use:
it – is
Okay, so most of know all this. We still have the tendency to interject them into our writing without thinking. Try this excerise once and see if it tightens and strengthens your piece of writing. I would suggest doing it on short story first.