Mark Twain once wrote, Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very'; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. The best writing uses the best words, and vague words don't cut it. Along with the infamous very, we'll apply the idea of Mark Twain's rule to other words that you should remove or replace.
Very, Quite, Really, Rather: It was very cold outside and we took a very long route, and by the end our noses were very runny. With Mark Twain's tip it reads, It was damn cold outside and we took a damn long route, and by the end our noses were damn runny. The second sentence bleeds with the narrator's voice, but the point is that very is a useless word because it doesn't say anything. If I tell you that it's very cold outside, does that mean it's 70 degrees Fahrenheit and I'm used to desert climates, or that it's 15 degrees and I live in Cleveland? Very detracts more than it gives; it takes more time to say the thought, and it doesn't convey the thought any better. Let's try the sentence again: It was cold outside and we took a long route, and by the end our noses were runny. This sentence is forceful, direct, clean, and takes less time to read. While I like it as is, removing the last very does not result in a good image—perhaps we could rewrite it again: It was cold outside and we took a long route, and by the end our noses dripped endlessly. It's not perfect, but it paints a better image.
Started: This occurs in all fiction writing, mine included. We write prose like this: I started to get out of bed. I started to eat breakfast when the phone rang. I started running. If we remove the pesky word, does anything change? I got out of bed. I ate breakfast when the phone rang. I ran. You'll notice the only odd sentence is the middle one—yes, sometimes we need to use this word (or spend more time inventing an alternative). But remember, all actions have to start, and started slows the sentence and the action, and does not improve the visual of the image. If I say, I set my iPod to shuffle and started running, it tells no more than if I said, I set my iPod to shuffle and ran. Like very, started does not add to the discourse.
Much: There was too much food. I was much more full than Bert. He's much richer than John. How much food was there? How much of it did you eat? How can you measure your fullness compared to Bert, and how much richer was he than John? Sometimes, to remove this word, we have to change around the sentence: I couldn't see my plate under all the food. Does it convey the same information as the first example sentence? Yes. Does it paint a better image? Yes. Cut out much and spend the necessary time to improve the sentence.
Suddenly: Suddenly the door creaked and I knew he was behind me. Let's jump straight to the revised version: The door creaked and I knew he was behind me. Again, an action needs to start, and most actions don't start gradually, especially ones that happen suddenly. In most cases, suddenly does the adverse of what it's meant to do, slowing the sentence instead of amping the excitement. Remove it and we get right to the action, speeding the pace of the prose and the imminent doom of our narrator.
Amazing and Awesome: Two reasons to avoid these words: they tell instead of show, and they are overused. If I say, The ride was amazing! you get no sense for what the ride was or why it was amazing. If I described how I felt during the ride, you get a better picture. The second reason speaks for itself.
Modifiers: I didn't want to write a separate paragraph for each, but the following words can and should be removed: currently, just, pretty, a bit. They occur often in speech, but in writing they clog up an otherwise clean sentence. I'm currently planning a novel, but I just can't get started. It's a pretty long novel, but I can trim off a bit of the prose. The writing and grammar is fine, but it's weaker than this: I'm planning a novel, but I can't get started. It's a long novel, but I can cut an unimportant character. Notice that, with the exception of a bit, I cut the weak words and made the statements concise and forceful. A bit, in this example, requires more effort than only hitting the delete key.