“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
I laughed when I first read this quote, and I have never forgotten the point. I have a shelf full of books on writing, and am happy to recommend several of my favorites. Don’t Sabotage your Submission, by Chris Roerden, Stein on Writing by Sol Stein, and Write Away by Elizabeth George. I think it was Sol Stein who first brought my attention to writing something is ‘very’…
Is something more beautiful if it very beautiful? More sad if very sad? More forgetful if very forgetful? You get the idea. Leave it to Mark Twain to come up with the idea of reminding yourself not to add the word ‘very’ by inserting ‘damn.’ Whatever works…just don’t write something is VERY….very often if at all!