This is what I’m doing with my mystery manuscript right now. Little by little, it is coming together as I do the rewrite. Getting rid of redundant scenes is something I’m trying to watch closely. It is even harder to keep it in first person POV. Who said this would be easy?
First, you really have to be ruthless with your editing. It’s hard to cut everything out, but it does sound improved after I do, however, I feel better about pasting all that stuff into a Word doc that I can use later, if I want to. Chances are I won’t use it – at least not in this book. It still makes a difference to me to keep it.
Some things to bear in mind when doing this are:
Watching the story line
Are there any plot holes?
Will the reader be confused?
Is my conflict resolved in the end?
Is the POV consistent throughout?
Did I choose the right POV for this story?
Does it make sense?
Have I developed them?
If they change in the story, are there situations that cause the change?
Are my characters realistic with the flaws and quirks of ordinary people?
Do my characters induce emotional responses from the reader?
Are they predictable?”
Do I give concrete details, or am I too vague?
Do I have a good mix of dialogue, action, narrative?
Does each scene move the story forward, or is it filler?
Am I “telling” instead of “showing?”
Does it accurately reflect the character speaking?
Is it essential to the scene?
Is there too much “he said, she said?”
A few other things to keep in mind
Am I repeating myself, maybe using the same word too many times?
Is my sentence length varied and interesting?
Are my characters consistent regarding hair color, age, names, and dialect?