And even more importantly, there are some things you just had really better look out for. (yes, this is a trick sentence). We know them. Passive verbs. Excessive adjectives. Unnecessary justs, thats, and reallys.
And then we read novels that are rife with them. 25 hads per page. A that thrown in every paragraph. Justs and reallys and likes - oh my!
Rulesy Schmulesy anyone?
Okay, now for the actual helpful part. Follow some links. Then tell me what you do to edit. Do you follow the rules? Do the books you read follow them (tell me if they don't, it makes me feel better)?
List of passive verbs
My nemesis, the word had.
List of commonly confused words
Just for the heck of it, lay vs. lie
And check her sidebar for pure genius