"Kill your darlings" is the way Stephen King puts it. Those well-turned phrases that make you smile at your own ability as a writer. You must be willing to cross them out, delete them "without pity." It isn't easy, but an author's writing must be tight. Every word must count. Each phrase must move the story along. And if you have a word, a phrase, a sentence, or a paragraph that doesn't effectively do that, it's gotta go. It's as simple and as hard as that.