A moment later the door opened. Carl came out and went down the street.
For those words to have any meaning or impact, they'd have to be in context. As they stand here, they tell you next to nothing. Right?
A little better would be:
A moment later the glass door opened. Carl stepped out, walking down the street.
There's more certainty in that, which is a starting point. But a really firm image needs the tiny details that will make it real for the reader. Like this:
A moment later the glass door slid aside. Carl appeared, trotting down the stairs. His steps echoed off the nearby buildings as he hurried along the empty street.
Do you see what I mean?
Yes there are more words in that final image. But there's also a lot more clarity and reality.
I'd suggest to you that if your book is full of rich and succinct imagery, then you can get away with a few thousand extra words. But in truth, you won't need to. The more solidly your world is built in the little moments of description, the fewer words it will take to convince your reader your story is really happening.
Although you can't do a seek and destroy mission on these words, start developing an eye for them. They're the verbs that tell the reader your character did something, but don't tell them how.
Wherever possible, turn your 'went' into 'walked', exchange the likes of 'came' for 'hurried', and replace 'moved' with 'shuffled' and his equally vivid friends.
Then, just like with specifc nouns, when you've got some specific verbs in place, choose a minimum of adjectives to color in the gaps.
Your Turn: What generic words spring to mind when you read this? What kind of words would you use to replace them?