Viewing words as a valuable commodity will help us eliminate word-clutter, word-fill. It will create tight, lean writing.
What words are always worth the buck? Precise verbs and nouns. To quote Mervin Block: “Nouns are the bones that give a sentence body. But verbs are the muscles that make it go.”
On the other hand, fluff and filler words--phrases that add little to the meaning--are unwise purchases. William Strunk, Jr.’s The Elements of Style, warns: “Rather, very, little--these are the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words.” Or as one of my writing instructors explained it: Popcorn-kernel writing discards the white fluffy stuff.
Why not go through your work and delete that, which, when, the, like, but, well, totally, of, absolutely, just, a, thing, and, so, on wherever the meaning would not be compromised? Don't write stood up when stood will do. Don't have your character speak very softly. Let her whisper. Don't explain the color of her dress is pink when her pink dress makes the point. And please, don’t spin yourself around in circles, just spin that manuscript into a mean, lean thing!