One of the best writing tips goes back to my novice days. An author I admire suggested that we read our work aloud when we got to the rewrite stage. I decided to try it.
“What’s that?” my husband asked.
“You said something.”
“Just reading to myself.”
“Well keep it down. I’m trying to watch TV.” Luckily for him, I knew he was joking.
Reading aloud showed me where my words weren’t natural or where sentences were too long and convoluted. Sometimes I’d cut out words as I read and realize that I didn’t need them. Other times I’d add a word or two when I read and realized I needed that word on paper to make for smoother, more natural expression.