I needed a bit of a break from thinking about writing, so I took a bit of a break, but I just thought I'd share how my editing went.
Well... My writing was tighter than I thought, but I still cut over 4000 words out of it.
I only took out maybe four tiny scenes.
Would you like to know my secret?
I read most of the book out loud. Yeah I know, tedious as hell, but one thing it does do is keep me focused on flow. When I read out loud, I immediately notice when the flow's off. Or when the sentences are boring.
Another thing I got a lot was over-writing. If I said the sky is blue once, I don't have to say it again two seconds later if it isn't important to the story. So the best way I said it stays. The other doesn't.
Sentences running too long when they sound better shortened got split. When you split a sentence, you tend to lose words. "Ands", "buts", "ases", "becauses" etc. become unnecessary. He did something as another thing happened could possibly become Something happened. He did something. Depending on the sentence's complexity, I lost at least a word.
Cutting to necessities, I changed phrases like: The exterior of the house to The house's exterior. Two words gone because I changed the sentence. Another favorite: was "verb"-ing. The "was" goes the minute I simply change sentence's tense.
Switching sentences to cut passive tense can lose three or four words for you.
Finally, I have one special word: that. I can't believe how it infested my writing. I probably found five (yes. FIVE) sentences with three (yes. THREE) "thats" in them. *shudder*
Probably an anticlimactic answer to those of you who are new to editing. Still, one or two words per sentence might not sound like a lot, but when you're dealing with thousands of sentences, those little bits at a time add up.
I probably cut many more words than 4000, but I had to put some in here and there to focus the characters' motivations a bit more and so on.
What do you cut when you want to pare down words?