The right word choice can tighten up your writing and make it flow. A recent reminder of this struck me as I went through some rewrites. Using more words than needed is a common mistake—but also an easy fix. Here are some examples:
Food started to sound good to me. → Food sounded good to me.
I pretended to look at something else. → I looked elsewhere.
She was going to be next. → She would be next.
I didn’t want to risk being seen. → I couldn’t risk being seen.
Each of these examples has something in common besides being shortened. The little word “to” following the first verb weakens the next verb that I’d rather emphasize. I don’t want a character to merely “begin to" do something. I want her to do it. This improves the drama and pacing of the writing. Make use of your Find and Replace Box to catch these simple errors. Type a space before and after ( to ) so you don't get every word containing those two letters. Beleive me, there will be enough of them without finding things you don't want.