I am not alone in this. Jasper Fforde says, 'If it were possible I'd be around Waterstones with a pot of glue and replacement pages and perhaps after that knocking at your front door with a bottle of Tippex and a pen, "Excuse me, my name is Jasper Fforde. Do you have a copy of 'The Eyre Affair' by any chance? I've spelt Steller's sea cow incorrectly and I was wondering..."'
I've been revising Trav Zander. I've done five chapters so far. What I am getting rid of mostly are:
- Unnecessary speech tags, often where I also have a description of what the character is doing which tells the reader who is speaking.
- Bits that tell the reader what is going to happen, instead of just letting the story unfold.
- 'He thought' or 'she thought' - generally a sign the writing is under par (thank you, Alan). There are better ways of getting the information across.
- Deleting 'that' if it's not necessary and there is more than one.
- And word echoes, my bane - I'm still picking those out, but at least now I have help at hand with Autocrit. It's astonishing; I must have been over Trav twenty times, including reading the whole thing out loud, and I've still missed some repeat words. I recommend Autocrit for anyone with the same problem; it costs $47, and you can try it free first.