on Fiction University:
There’s a lot to remember when revising a novel, so here’s a list of words to check before you declare that novel “finished.”
I love checklists, especially ones that I can use to easily improve my manuscript. My master editing list is always a favorite, and I like to bring it out at least once a year for the new readers. For long-time readers, I’ve added a few new words as well.
One of the last things I do with a novel before I call it “done,” is to go through a list of words I know I overuse (or misuse), words I shouldn’t use many of, words that often spell trouble, and words to avoid. I search for each one and decide if I really need it, or if the sentence would be better without it. It’s boring and tedious, but it does force me to focus on those little edits that can really tighten a manuscript.
I call it the spit shine.