So I've seen a lot of blog posts on editing - almost like people have sync'd up on their edit timing. (Oh as a side note - did you know that today is National Star Wars Day? May the 4th be with you - sorry - had to.)
I created my own editing list a few months back and have posted it below - coming up with a list of things to look for - seek out - makes the editing process a little easier, I think. It difficult to edit your own manuscript because you are too close to the story - it's like putting a puzzle together and you can't fit the last few peices, so you get up after hours and hours of slaving over it only to have some less-than-brilliant person step up and finish it in mere seconds - its easier to put highlights on a painting than create the picture on the canvas - SO... here is my list. Hopefully it helps a little.
1. I am the contraction queen, so I did a search on the following words to see if I needed to adjust for contractions (this doesn't get 'em all, but it's a start!!)
**** have, I am, would, will, had, it is, you are
2. A lot of the comments I got reminded me to show, not tell, so I searched for the following sensory words and moved them from the telling that these words do to actual descriptions:
***** feel, felt, heard
3. I forget punctuation on my dialog A LOT, and I know we don't always use 'said' in dialog, but I did a search for the words I used most and made sure to punctuate my dialog with a comma instead of a period:
****** said, whispered, yelled
4. I tried to remove fruity words that just took up too much space... I have a few - add to my list, if you like!!
****** almost, seem, seemed, so, that
(SERIOUSLY - I am amazed at how many times I use 'that' in my chapters.. UNREAL)
5. I did a search for And and But as I've heard those are no-no's on starting sentences with. I just looked in my doc for any place that I had an And or But that was capitalized.. worked out pretty well.
6. Lastly - I scanned my chapter for large blocks of words without dialog and looked for ways to break them up, spreading the information I wanted to tell the reader through the chapter (subtle of course) or tearing them apart and moving it into a dialog between my characters.
And the list continues to expand! ;-)