At Bookview Café, Sherwood Smith has a post describing a group discussion about editing your own work.
It’s hard to beat “skittering lilt” as an image, don’t you think? Here’s the context:
The next few [suggestions] were more succinct: “Watch for mixed images (“The lilt in her voice skittered” — a visual reader is going to stop cold and try to figure out how a lilt can skitter), watch for clichés—especially using two for emphasis (“She thought about the rattling skeletons in her closet and the ancient bones of her past that stirred” two clichés for the price of one, and both saying the same thing, which has a numbing effect), and go through and read aloud your sentences. “If the rhythm starts repeating, you’ve probably got way too many semi-colons.”
Plenty of interesting suggestions in the post.