Yesterday, I ran across a link on twitter that seems to have originated in “Nuts and Bolts: ‘Thought’ Verbs”, an essay by Chuck Palahniuk last year.
It’s great advice:
…you may not use “thought” verbs. These include: Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Remembers, Imagines, Desires, and a hundred others you love to use.
The list should also include: Loves and Hates.
In short, no more short-cuts. Only specific sensory detail: action, smell, taste, sound, and feeling.
I used to run a Word macro on all my fiction to search for overused words. That search included “thought”, “knew”, “realized”, and “felt”. I should probably start using it again.