Do It Yourself Line Editing
But first, set your manuscript aside for a few days so you can view it from a fresh perspective.
Line editing differs from copy editing in that it is less about mechanics and more about style. It is about finessing your prose. A great story can be swamped with inconsistencies, ineffective word choices and unwieldy sentence structure.
Here are 4 guidelines for line editing:
#1 Your Prose: Are your words precise? Strong? Have you eliminated cliches? Have you used specific language to bring the situation to life?
#2 Mood and Tone: During dramatic scenes, have you set the right tone? The right mood? Have you been consistent with your characters’ demeanor? Does their behavior make sense? Is the time period and environment consistent with the characters’ dialogue?
#3 Major Plot Points: Have you included significant explanations or scenes when leading up to a major plot point? Are they clear enough to move the story forward for the reader?
#4 Excess Word Usage: Is your syntax clean and concise? Do you find sentences that are unnecessarily long? To make the reading of your sentences easier, break up sentences or condense the language. Have you overly depended on a thesaurus for descriptions?
Though line editing is subjective, these simple guidelines will help you clarify your particular writing style.