Avoid pet words, archaic words, clichés, and words smacking of sentimentalism.
Choose clarity over wit.
Choose brevity over wordiness.
Be precise in your word choices. The more precision, the fewer words needed.
Read each draft aloud, and listen for any rough spots or glitches in sound or sense.
Believe your ears! Once you’ve identified a word that doesn’t work, give yourself a little more time and a thesaurus to find the word that works well.
© 2014 Mary Harwell Sayler