Current progress: page 134 / 334.
I’ve actually edited more than 134 pages; this is how much was left after all my cuts. *cracks knuckles*
Since I’m knee-deep in line edits, I thought I’d share my method and why it works for me. Although I work entirely digitally up to this point, line editing is definitely where you’ll want to print your book and go at it with a red pen.
Reason number one: The words will look different on the page.
Reason number two: You can get away from the computer, which helps against distractions.
Reason number three: Your changes are less final, so it’s easier to be ruthless. After all, you’re not actually incorporating the changes into your file yet. You know you’ll get a second chance of considering your changes.
That last reason is the biggest for me. If your goal is to cut, be vicious. I recommend not just looking at sentences and thinking of how you can rephrase it or remove words, but actually doing it. It’s easy to stick to sounding out sentences in your mind, or to think, “No, this word is essential.” Don’t fall into that trap. Take out your fat red pen, slash through any dubious words, and re-read the paragraph. It may work better than you think.
If not? Underline your change with a green pen to remind yourself to ignore it when you’re entering your edits on the computer. You may be surprised at how rarely the green pen will come into play, though.