I’ve discovered one nasty habit in my current draft. I find I write things like: he “started to” walk, he “started to” jog, or he “began to” stroll. Thankfully, I find it easy with Scrivener to search these phrases and change the phrase to “he walked”, “he jogged” or “he strolled”. Not bad – around 20 times in 80000 words! Still, 20 times too much.
Another habit is using hear/heard too much. Often I find if I reevaluate the sentence where the hear/heard appears I realize the situation calls for “listen” instead.
I also use cliches without even realising it. Did you know “hands on” is a cliche? Without prowritingaid.com I wouldn’t even know I wrote with these nasty flaws but with it, I am able to see and eliminate these faults.
Hopefully, eliminating these faults will tighten my writing and help my voice shine. Obviously, with all faults, I make a judgement call whether eliminating the faults improves my story before I make changes.