I said on Tuesday that I would list my top 5 known writing problems -- you know those little buggers that come up again and again in critique groups? Yeah, I haz them. So here's my own personal checklist of things to make sure I don't do. What are yours?
1. Smiling too much.
She smiled. "You know this one already."
2. Using the word "was" too often.
Passive voice! Passive voice!
I let some stay, but I have to go through and get rid of far more. "Suddenly" is an especial problem.
4. Events that have no relevance in the scene or plot.
My husband has gotten good (a little too good, some might say) at pointing out scenes or elements that are extraneous.
5. Logic problems.
Sometimes I find lines that assumed something happened when it didn't. Theses are like little ticks seeding the page. Really hard to find and pull out. I leave little notes to myself in red when I find them and then go back and fix them. Some require rewriting whole scenes, and some (the worst) require changing a detail or story element.
Leave your known issues in the comments!