I've made a dreadful discovery: I've developed an addiction to 'as if'. It happened while rewriting the latest incarnation of Discord's Apprentice. Every other sentence has 'as if' in it, and the ones that don't, have 'seems' or 'like'. It's funny how you can fall in love with certain words or phrases and not notice how often you use them.
    I suppose 'as if' is a result of wishing to 'show not tell'. Instead of writing: 'He gestured as if grabbing something out of the air...' I could put: 'He gestured wildly...' but that would be telling. It would also be using an adverb, which is another thing writers are told to avoid. Adjectives are only marginally better. Of course, I could ignore the style police and use all these things, but generally following the rules leads to snappier, more gripping prose.
    Another reason why 'as if' has taken such a hold in my writing is a wish to avoid switching point of view. Saying that a character 'lay back on the bed as if afraid her head might fall off' shows that's how it looked to the narrator or character from whose point of view the scene is told. Without 'as if' the reader would be told how the character felt, which can only be known from that character's head. I could make the 'as if' even worse and write 'Anni saw Dovinna lay back as if afraid her head might fall off' and slow the scene down to a crawl.
    There is a way to solve the problem. 'As if' inevitably introduces a descriptive clause, and descriptive clauses are usually dispensible, so I shall try to follow that other golden rule: 'If in doubt, leave it out'.

P.S. There's more custard on offer at @TwictionAddict as my stint as featured author of the month reached its climax on Sunday, and my contribution to Writers on Writing has gone live on Alfie Dog Fiction.