My editing process:
- Identify a passage that sounds wrong.
- Identify why it sounds wrong.
- Fix what sound wrong until it sounds right.
The first part is easy. I read aloud and as soon as I stumble, I know that something is wrong. I don’t know exactly where at first, but it’s usually a cluster of sentences or one sentence. I keep rereading it aloud to pinpoint what needs to be fixed. Is it the whole passage? Do I need to cut the bloody thing out? Or do I need to insert something that's missing? Or is it just one wrong sentence? Or the wrong word? It takes up to 10 times (or even more) of rereading the bastard until I know why it sounds wrong. Then comes the hardest part. I know what’s wrong, but how to make it right? This is what’s taking up my time. Trying out a vigintillion of different combinations. Picking one word, then another, then deleting it, then adding it back. Rewriting the sentences, cutting them short, making them long. Massaging, massaging, massaging until at last I’m satisfied. I breathe in, breathe out, read it aloud one more time and move on. Read, read, read, then find the next place where something sounds wrong, and the whole process starts all over again. One page (about 200 words) can take me up to a couple hours to fix, so I only manage 10 pages maximum in a single day.