George Saunders (short story writer) was asked how he tackles editing. This is what he said...
"I start off with a sentence, say...'Frank sat on the couch that fateful afternoon'. I ask myself, does it matter when Frank was on the couch?
No. So the sentence becomes: 'Frank sat on the couch'.
Then I ask, does it matter where he was sitting?
No. So we now have: 'Frank sat'.
Then I might ask, does it matter was Frank was doing?
No, it doesn't. Which leaves: 'Frank'.
Then I ask myself, is Frank relevant?
No, he isn't."