I just received this email from Writer's Digest. Perfect timing as I edit my own WIP and completed an edit of someone else's manuscript. It took me a page to explain these few, extremely important points in "Becoming a Ferocious Self-Editor".
I love editing--my own or someone else's work. I love editing so much I may never finish my book.
As I watched this short video, I thought of how daunting applying these concepts to an entire book might seem. There are some exercises to make these things second nature when writing and obvious when editing.
One is to write flash-fiction. The intent is to write a very short, but complete, story, using as few wasted words as possible. Pick a topic, write a couple thousand words. Now, go cut it in half. Really--half. If you have to, read each sentence aloud, leaving out the iffy word. Does it make sense. Good, delete!
Another exercise is to pick one of those mostly useless words and do a search in your document. Read each sentence. Can you get rid of that word? Do it! By the time you finish, you will be so thoroughly sick of that word, and disgusted by how many times you used it, that you will never throw it down accidentally again. Up and down are perfect examples.
Do you have any exercises that can help the battle to ferociously self-edit?