Tip: Many writers use extra words to modify the meaning of another word. Terms like actually, really, very, only, just – they don’t help and in fact, often lead to wordiness. If someone is having a really bad day, why not just say they’re having an awful day? Or horrendous/horrible/atrocious/ghastly/despicable/appalling day (yes, I use a thesaurus). These adjectives are stronger and more descriptive than “very bad” and can enhance the sentence, not weaken it.

Thought: It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop. – Confucius

Teaser: Today is Thanksgiving in the US. What would your main character’s holiday look like? Alone with a TV dinner? In a crowd of family? Or at a restaurant with friends? Write a scene for this day for him or her.