I’ve now edited 260 out of about 290 pages in this third round on Seeds of Blood. So far I’ve cut about 2K words, from a draft that was about 120K. Pretty much all small nitpicky stuff of “do I really need X word in the sentence to get the idea across?”
I think of it a bit like an archaeologist using a little brush to get the dirt off an artifact. The more unneeded words you have cluttering up a sentence, the greater the chance the reader will get lost in the verbal weeds. And nobody wants that. 😉
So I go through and do the tiny snip-snips first. Only after that, once I have all the sentences and chain of events as clear as possible, will I do a further round of edits and see if I need more imagery, scene-setting, action description, etc.
I probably will. Scenes in my head always seem to need more to paint them on paper than I think. But for me, that painting of imagery works best after all the clutter is gone.
It’s interesting to come back to the big fight this long after I finally finished it. It still seems to hang together well, which… I have to admit, worried me, given there’s a lot of moving pieces. But all the characters have a role, everyone gets a piece of the slips, falls, and action, and Evil is in the process of being Confronted.
(As you can imagine, Evil doesn’t like this very much.)
Hopefully this round will be done inside a week or so, and then – it’s imagery fine detail work! Eep.