Nothing is more vital in the writing process than cutting (not just editing) your own work. Cutting can give a paragraph, page, chapter, energy. Cutting can add drama, and suspense. It can create wit and sharp insight. It is the art of saying more with less. It is skillful writing.
Cutting well takes a great deal of time. It means going over your work word by word and sentence by sentence. There is a natural, and understandable tendency (particularly in speech) to repeat, rephrase, return to the same words and ideas. To write, “‘I hate you!” he said angrily,'” is redundant, because the words “I hate you!” already convey anger. To add the “said angrily” is to slow things down. Or, “Eager to move quickly, she ran as fast as she could.” It suffices to write “She ran as fast as she could.”
It is worth noting that working on a computer tends to make for longer manuscripts. It’s so easy to keep things. For those of us who once typed manuscripts, every cut made meant far, far less physical work. And I think, better writing.
A good practice—a hard one—is to take your manuscript and arbitrarily tell yourself you are going to cut five pages out of the next hundred. Or one page out of five. Then word by word, sentence, do it.
Your readers will thank you. And you will be impressed how much better a writer you are.