One of the reasons I love editing is that I get to cut bullshit all the time. (Other added benefits: I get to justify my dirty mind by scouting for, er, unintended second meanings and I don’t have to put on real clothes until noon.)
I think this is especially true when I’m editing creative work. I know what you writers are like. You’re all bullshit artists, rushing to get words on the page so you can get back to your kids, go to the bar, or scratch your balls. You’re not quite sure how your gift, talent, or whatever you have works and so you’re not always 100% sure what is good and what is not. So you blurt it all out and hope no one calls you on it.
Not so fast, my friends. What does “full of yesterdays” mean? When you said you “laughed about it for days” you didn’t really laugh for days, did you? How did you laugh about it really? Was the day really beautiful? What made it beautiful?
My job is to call you on it, to make you think, to make you push yourself. What are you really trying to say? Is this important to the reader? Is this a cliche? No, really, isn’t it a little bit of a cliche? What details can you add to make it not a cliche? I know you don’t think it’s a cliche, but it probably is. Was that really what it was like? Would your character really say that? Isn’t there a better way to put this? If I didn’t know you, would I know what the hell you were talking about? Can you make this sentence as good as the one before it?
What are your questions?