This exercise is about eliminating doubles; nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Let's start with verbs. Many times when an author uses two verbs, the first one truly is not necessary. Usually the second verb infers the first, so it adds a bit of redundancy. This includes verb phrases. For instance, turned and looked back becomes he looked back; sat and watched becomes I watched the news; pick it up and answer it becomes she answered the phone; please open the door and leave becomes please leave. It does not change the meaning when you leave out the first verb and doing so makes the writing stronger.
Now add your double nouns, adjectives, and adverbs to the verbs. Sometimes the double words we use mean the same thing, so only one is actually needed. Look at these examples. Scream and yell, null and void, new and innovative, rules and regulations, pick and choose, honestly and truthfully etc. Don’t’ misunderstand. I am not saying you should not use two verbs, adverbs, nouns, or adjectives. But when they mean the same thing, get rid of one. You may find you can get rid of both words. Take a look at the following.
The student finished the test fully and completely.
Do I lose any meaning by only saying the student finished the test? Doesn't the word finished imply fully and completely? The same rule holds true if you write the student completely finished. You don’t need the word completely because finished implies everything was done.
Although we may speak this way, when it comes to writing, we want to be concise. This also gives another added benefit. The author gets out of the reader’s way and allows the reader to use his imagination.
Spend some time going through your first chapter and remove the redundant double nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.