I heard some really good suggestions recently on the NMRT-L listserv that discussed eliminating unnecessary words and tightening up sentence structure:
“I was criticized in my 8th grade physics report card for being ‘overly verbose.’ For anyone else with this trait, I recommend reading Stephen King’s ‘On Writing.’ It’s a fantastic read – heck, everybody who writes at all should take a look if you haven’t already. It’s full of advice that will have you looking at adverbs in a whole new way.”
“I also recommend editing a printed newsletter or something similarly space-limited. It’s amazing what an eye you can develop!”
And, my own suggestion:
Reading aloud what you’ve written allows awkward sentences, unnecessary words, etc. to make their way to the surface.
-The Writer Librarian