I spent Friday night, most of Saturday, and Sunday evening on the first draft line edits for Book 2 (tentatively titled THE HIDDEN BLESSING) in The Tales of Gymandrol series. Line edits are essential to having a good book. My editor, Farrah, sent me back my novel with her suggestions for changes (along with essential changes -- like making those double hyphens into a "em dash" and the proper way to make an ellipses.)
What happens in "line edits":
-Taking out all those wretched adverbs that I am so good at including! (Farrah had dubbed me "The Adverb Queen" during Book 1.) Thankfully, I've grown out of saying things like, "She ran quickly." Duh! If she's running, it's quickly! :-P (Same with "yelled loudly" "whispered quietly") Those like to sneak into writing. If you're not sure if you do this, use the "find" feature in Word and search "ly" for those adverbs. Let me know how many you find! :)
-Redundancies. This is one I'm guilty of. It's very hard to find other words for "room" or "face" when you're writing a whole scene where a room is important or faces are important. The thesaurus doesn't help with this. My editor does. Because she's awesome. It's also important to have someone else read your work because you won't notice that you've used "face" three times in three sentences right away. What else? Check if your character always does the same thing. Does he "quirk his eyebrows" ALL the time? Does she "cross her arms" when she's mad? EVERY time? Change it up a little! :)
-Making sentences active instead of passive. This was a hard one for me to think about first but once I saw Farrah's first example, I totally understood. (You can google search for it for good examples.)
-Changing the way a phrase reads. Sometimes it just reads awkwardly. And it has to be rewritten. More than once. If you're not sure, read it out loud. It can be a lot of work but it'll make it better!
I'm now re-reading the whole manuscript to see if the changes I made fit. I'll be rather boring for awhile on Twitter and blogging. It's all for the greater good! :)