Kim Wilkins is not only annoyingly talented, productive and good-looking, she’s also very, very clever on matters of writing and such. So have a look at this for some most excellent hints and advice on editing.
The science of editing
I’ve just finished my first edit of “Field of Clouds” and the whole process went really well. Now it’ll go off to my agent, who may have more to add, and then to my publishers, who will no doubt have much for me to fix.
For those of you embarking on a self-edit, the most important thing to remember is to be methodical and detached. You can get swamped in an edit very easily. I always tell my students that it is like autopsying a puppy. If you can’t be methodical and detached, then more puppies may die. Rule number one is to have a printed copy of the MS, and go through it first with a pen, marking what’s wrong. Don’t try to fix it on the first pass, just make a note in the margin about what’s wrong. (Okay, if you know the perfect substitute word then put it in, but in general don’t fix, just mark). I do this, all the while imagining that I’m not the person who has to fix it. Makes it far less overwhelming (though a little more pathological).
Read the rest here http://fantasticthoughts.wordpress.com/2009/07/25/the-science-of-editing/