I came across a great list of words to avoid while writing. These words "deserve to die" because they are overused or passive. All you do is take one word at a time from the list, put it into your word processing "find" function, find each word and eliminate or replace it with a better word that fits what you are saying.
For instance, we each use the word "just" hundreds of times in everyday language, so we naturally use it in our writing. "Just" has seven different meanings. Each of those seven meanings have several words to express that meaning.
Try it yourself. Put "just" in your word find, open your thesaurus and then replace "just" with the word you actually mean. Another word to eliminate is "got." I've got to see her tonight! should be, I have to see her tonight, or even stronger, I must see her tonight! In most cases, replacing these words strengthens your prose.
The list is overwhelming. I started with the words I abuse the most.
...and spent a day and a half on the word "was." Sheesh!
Here is the list. The Tameri website also give explanations.
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