One of the most common ways to challenge your writing is to switch it up when it comes to tense and perspective. If you're in the indie-author community, you might've had to do this with an anthology you signed up for. Or maybe you just want to try something different. This post is lengthy, but it will help you sort through the options and some basic rules for staying on track.
I know editing will seem like an endless game of Delete This, but keep in mind that many edits are also expanding things. When we talk about killing adverbs and excessive adjectives, it's because those are likely going to be replaced with more detail rather than less. Anyway, here is a brief list of things to avoid, just to get you started.
Adverbs aren't inherently incorrect, but oftentimes there are more descriptive words you could use to get the same point across. If your manuscript lacks a certain jazz or is less exciting than you had envisioned, an abundance of -ly adverbs might be to blame.
Ah, crutch words. How crippling they can be.
If you're looking for a list of words that are unlikely to add substance to your story, this is the page to bookmark. Eliminating or rephrasing these could go a long way in ensuring you have a crisp, fun, and easy-to-read book.
Dialogue is a big part of making your story come to life. Punctuating it properly is important. Here are three basic rules (and a few bonus tips) to get you started with using quotation marks to indicate dialogue in your writing.