We all do it. We all have that one particular word that we seem to use over and over and over and over. And the sad thing about them is that they're so common that they usually slide right by most writers and their betas as they go over their manuscripts. But, while the writer might not notice them, their readers certainly do. As an example, one person that I beta'd used to use the word "tone" whenever she wrote about her h/h talking to each other. "...the tone of his voice was soothing..." "...his tone was brusque and caused Duncan to burst into tears..." "...Joe decided he didn't like the tone of Duncan's voice..."
Too many repeat words and readers get irritated. The next thing you know -- Boom! There goes your book flying toward the wall. Bye-bye reader.
Empty Adverbs: Actually, I totally, absolutely, completely don't understand why people continually, even constantly use these words. Why it literally gives me a headache when I see them. Really it does! Unfortunately, one might even say ironically, it's incredibly easy for writers to become amazingly addicted to these fantastically worthless words. Get the undeniably, incredibly silly picture?
Does your knightly hero sound like he grinds ogres into dust before breakfast? Or does he sound like a fop from Louis the XIV's court? Read your dialog closely and then read it again: OUT LOUD. It's often all too easy to start out with your hero talking like Conan the Barbarian and have him end up a few chapters later sounding more like Conan O'Brian. READ OUT LOUD. That's the only way you'll be sure your dialog works.
Spell-checker: Your spell checker is not an infallible tool. Bazillions of words sound alike but aren't spelled alike. Double, triple and fourfle check to make sure it hasn't missed a correctly spelled wrong word.
Identify your Pronouns: Marlene went to her sister's house to get her hat. Whose hat was Marlene getting? Just as you can lose your readers with an over abundance of wretched hyperbole, you can also lose them when they haven't got a clue which character is doing what. This mistake is so easy to miss and sometimes hard for beginning writers to fix.
Well, that's about it, me hearties. Take care of yourselves and don't accept any wooden politicians.