DELETE [verb]: to remove or obliterate (written or printer matter), especially by drawing a line through it or marking it with a delete sign.
I've posted about this before, but once again I'm struck by how difficult this can be. Oftentimes I write like I talk, which includes a lot of additional words like "just" or "that." These words aren't needed on the page. DELETE. I use lots of -ly adverbs, or I used to...now I'm limiting myself to only truly amazing ones that add to the prose. DELETE. Then I wrote just two days ago about respecting readers and not giving them too much information that they either already would know or to leave some things to their imagination. DELETE. Again.
I guess it's a good thing I'm learning this now, as I'm sure if I ever am lucky enough to attract an agent's or editor's attention, I'll have to DELETE big time. I recently held an email conversation of sorts with a pubbed author who was going to have to DELETE major portions of a book that was bought out in advance because the publisher didn't like the finished product. Either DELETE or buy back the book or write two more books to make up for it. Whoa.
I'm glad I'm honing this skill. You should be, too. Question: have you had to DELETE anything recently that was hard to do?