I think it was one of my very first college professors that suggested reading something backwards for editing purposes. I've done it periodically for short pieces of writing, and recently read Everdream backwards in its entirety. It's pretty tedious, but it was super valuable for editing.
We all know that once we've read our book a few times, it becomes easier and easier to overlook things. We become too close to it. We read through and find ourselves spacing out a bit because we've read it so many times already, it seems practically memorized. I for one am really big on flow in my writing. But when you get to flowing along over the pages, before you know it you've passed right over something.
With the backwards read, you take out the flow. You take out the context. All you have is each sentence, standing on its own strength. Or not. And then you get to slash and tweak. I found so many typos or just plain sucky sentences I hadn't noticed in the many front-to-back reads I'd done of this book. I also found a lot of the same words too close together, and had a lot of epiphanies about plot and character and inconsistencies and such that had never occured to me before.
Anyways, I'll quit blabbing. I love the backwards read. You get it. Now I'm scared, because it's getting pretty close to querying this baby. And it'll either be third-times-the-charm or my agent search will be on pause for a while while I explore other options.
Have you done a backwards read? What's your fave editing tip? Hope everyone has a fab week!
P.S. Check out Write Club if you haven't recently - it's down to 10 peeps and things are getting super intense!