The edits for The Four-Day Weekend (formerly The New Golden Age) began in earnest this past week. 50 out of 300 pages is 1/6th of the manuscript -- not bad for only a couple days' work!
That said, this is only the first of two or three editing passes -- the first is for major cleanup (moving blocks of text around, rewriting sections that need it), and the second is for line-by-line cleanup, something I'll probably have a little third-party help with. This is actually not something I do well by default, so the more additional help I have the better.
I've noticed that I typically have a fairly clean first draft -- a lot of the most aggressive, "I don't think I need this at all" editing tends to happen before I ever sit down at the computer. Most of what happens at this stage is organizational: figuring out what to emphasize or put into the background, that kind of thing.
Another thing I'm trying to figure out is how much to excerpt. I'm actually thinking of doing something slightly unorthodox -- chapters 1 and 2, and then a later chapter about Henry and Winthrop's early life, which is actually chapter 5 or 6 (I'm still dithering with the chapter order early on).
My drop-dead day for getting the ms. to the printer's is August 15th. If I keep up my current pace I could well have a first pass done by early next week, and some early-draft samples after that. Look for another progress report in a few days.
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind