- Delete very. It doesn't add anything. How many? What amount? How tall? Be more specific in your description.
- Write in active voice (in which the subject in a sentence is doing the action). Grammar Girl provides a helpful explanation in case you need a refresher on the subject.
- Delete extra words. You don't get extra credit for word count; be concise.
- Make sure you get idioms correct.
- Read your work out loud. You'll realize where your writing is a mouthful that will need to be tweaked.
- Show, don't tell. This is the key. Don't say she is beautiful; describe her features. Don't say she is angry; describe her actions and expressions. If you learn nothing else, absorb this.
Are you a writer? What's the most important piece of advice you've received from a mentor?