Weak words to hunt down and destroy when editing fiction

(This is my personal list, reflecting my own bad writing habits. Use or add to as you like. Obviously you don’t have to delete every instance of the verb “be” or other similarly common and useful words, but in at least some cases you can replace them with more vivid phrasing. E.g., “It was raining” can become “Rain lashed against her face.”)

seem
could
that
this
just
look
glance
stare
know (knew)
hear
feel (felt)
reach
move
watch
was (were, is, be)
-ing
-ly (adverbs)
keep (kept)
have (had)
anyway
actually
paused/hesitated (have them do some action instead)
peek (for an inanimate object)
now
em-dashes –
spin/turn on one’s heel
thought to herself/himself
picked at invisible/imaginary speck of dust/thread/etc
quite
very
pretty (to mean “fairly” or “kind of”)

And let's not forget "let out a breath she didn't know she was holding."

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