An interesting blog in the US journal Globe and Mail; a quicky and easy to remember list of words that should always be the ones you think of cutting first when you are redrafting;
In no particular order, as Tess would say, these are;
Don't get too wound up about them though. For instance, in dialogue, if your characters insists on saying "I've got to go the dance" then you'd better let them. In narratative however, it's a missed opportunity for a stronger verb. 'He was reluctant to go to the dance...'
And 'stuff/things' may also come under this class. My character Sabbie often describes things (oops) as 'stuff', but I made sure she does that because that's what she'd do. Again, in a 3rd person narrative mode, you sound lazy.
Although the big ten are a nice easy number to hold in your mind, I'm afraid there are a lot of other words that should be scrubbed through on redrafting. Most of these are modifiers and qualifiers – very is a good example (I was very unhappy…I was unhappy) but there are more; nearly, genuinely, absolutely, actually, seemed to, began to, almost.
Most of these weaken your writing; e.g ‘suddenly’, makes things less sudden.
And I've not finished. (Sorry!) because there are a lot of other ways you can let your final drafts down. Here are some ways to tighten and polish your drafts;
In fact, a bit of common sense is needed throughout the drafting process. It's like Fowlers Preferences (if you don't know them, you'll find them on the web), which are great advice for good, tight writing but do in themsleves need a final qualifier;
Always use the right word in the right situation