Listening to Matchbox20 and deciding what part of my short story Wish Consequence to edit next. The funny thing about doing a structural edit on any story is that it has a domino effect. Okay, maybe funny is the wrong word…frustrating is more suitable.
The positive side is that it makes your story stronger and if you can step back from the editing process you will see the improvements from first draft to finished, polished manuscript.
My tips for editing are make notes on your entire hard copy of the manuscript first in red pen so that it stands out. Look for the usual: spelling mistakes, pet words that get overused, punctuation. Then go back looking for other errors: make sure the characters stay true to their nature or that they have a good reason for doing something against their nature, etc.
After I have done this on the hard copy, I go back to my computer and make the small changes. I correct the spelling and anything else that doesn’t alter the story too much. Then I tackle the big changes, deciding as I go what I need to do to make it the strongest story it can be.