It's funny how easy it is to fall into a pattern with grammar and speech to the point that you don't even realize you do it.
I made it through the main edits and hope to goodness when I reformatted the file, it took the right way. (All the indents and margins settings). I did, what I considered, a really good sweep through the manuscript and spent quite a bit of time altering sentences and doing some rewrites that I felt improved and made it read smoother and better.
Then I started through the checklist of things to watch for. I started with the adverbs. Find -ly words and see what my grand total is. It was SCARY. Editor's suggestion- Find the total and then remove at least half, if not more of these tricky, excessive words that pretty it up a bit, make you feel "frilly," but too often take up space and restrict the flow of the writing when they aren't necessary. Too much of a good thing-too much of ANYTHING- can't be good for you.
So there it was- this HUGE number staring me down. I'm too embarrassed to say just HOW many were in there, but let's just say its on the backside of the hundreds. I thought-
WHAT IS THIS INSANITY? DID I REALLY THROW THEM ABOUT WILLY-NILLY?
I realized though a few words I used can't be counted. Like the word FAMILY. Is it an adverb? Really? No, of course not. It's a noun or an adjective depending on how you use it and it just happens to end in -ly. The name "Emily" is also a noun, not an adverb, but when searching -ly words, it snags them too-lumping them in with all the other bright little yellow highlights on the screen. It's a cinch, I'm not going to be removing the word family or the name of the heroine's deceased grandmother, whom she still thinks of often in loving remembrance.
I will say that the word I was surprised to see I use most was- ONLY. I lost count of how many times I found it. I've removed and replaced more than half of these dreadful words, so far, and intend to tackle what's left today. Then I'll be moving on to the next thing on the editor's checklist.
Needless to say~~It's an eye opening experience when you start zeroing in on the flaws in your writing. In ways, it's devastating, but at the same time it's also liberating. My mind is more aware of this vice now and it will make me a stronger writer for having that knowledge as I continue to tackle edits on this and other manuscripts and as I write more novels.
It never hurts to remind yourself, as an author, of your imperfections, so long as you don't let it hinder your process. Highlighting errors sharpens your mind and your writing and that's ALWAYS a good thing.