Right ... so ... more on the topic of revising. (Can you tell where my mind has been lately?)
The other day, I grabbed my handy-dandy copy of THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE and flipped through my highlighted and tabbed pages. I wanted to make this the best revision of this ms possible! Page 73 reads:
"Avoid the use of qualifiers. Rather, very, little, pretty -- these are the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words."
So, I used the "find" feature in MS Word and searched for these words. Holy Smokes! I thought I knew better than to use the word "very" in my writing. But there it was. Over and over AGAIN.
I did decide to leave the word "very" every once in a while in dialogue, but I deleted it from everywhere else. I almost didn't search for the word "pretty" because I thought I never used the word. Imagine my surprise when it showed up over and over AGAIN in my ms.
I think sometimes our mind becomes blind to certain words. Unnecessary words.
What do you think?
Do you think rather, very, little, and pretty are the "leeches" of prose?