I don't have a very good grasp of grammar. My critique partners know this as well if not better than I do. I prefer Grammar B. Thank you, Robin Schone!
So, I truly believe there are no rules- only guidelines. Please your muse and see where it takes you, but don't ignore good advice or tools before you've considered it carefully. "Nora does it" won't fly.
"Crutch words." The ones you reuse over and over again. The trouble is, they're not the same ones every time. A brain seems to get to running in a furrow, where you might use a phrase like "a bit" several times on the same page.
Passive tense…it only matters when it sticks out, or your writing feels flat. It's
always a good idea to search for passives, but a section with no passives
at all would read “a bit” odd and forced.
Sometimes passive is the right choice, esp. when you want something to read dead and flat. Not everything requires animation.
Here are some words to be on the look out for:
As – I sometimes replace it with a choice of "because" or "when"…
I watch for “ing" because that helps me look out for passive writing. "ing" words can slow the pace
I search for "feel" and "felt" as well. It's easy to get carried away with all those "she could feel."
Basically, when I put a vague word like “it”, I try to replace it with something more precise.
I’ve heard speech tags and thought tag can distance the reader, especially in deep third. My speech tags, when I need them, are limited to "said," "murmured," "whispered" or "growled," but I keep them to an absolute minimum. I think that's largely a style choice, not something everyone has to do.
Check out the link below (Michele Albert's Cheat Sheets) and look for
the lists of words under "Editing". While all those words are needed
from time to time, they can also become crutches.
Now remember while editing, be careful that you don't blindly follow the “guidelines ". Sometimes the best scenes/sentences/phrases break all the rules. And sometimes following the rules makes your writing stilted.
Repeat after me…there are no rules- only guidelines. Good luck finding your voice!