This is very useful. I’m verbose at the best of times, so one thing the editing process will do is examine the story for these sorts of things. Of course, I have to do a bit of editing-in of passages before I start taking stuff out….
When you’re self-editing your work, there are plenty of posts out there that tell you what you should look at for and try to eliminate. [tag]Jessi Rita Hoffman[/tag]’s provides 2 Stammer Verbs to Avoid in Your Fiction.
The reader assumes, if a character is going to move from point A to point B in a scene, he or she will probably have to make a turning movement. That’s understood, so it need not be explained. Stating it merely slows down the action and spoils the vividness of the scene.
Before: The king placed the scroll back on the table. He turned and walked to the window.
After: The king placed the scroll back on the table. He shuffled to the window.
Like turned, it’s typically misused as a way of launching into description of an action:
Jill sat down with a thud. She began to untie her shoelaces.
There’s no reason to slow down the action with began.
Jill sat down with a thud. She untied her shoelaces.
Unless something is going to interrupt between the start and the completion of their action (taking off shoes), there is no reason to say began.