Let's assume you have started editing a large report.
First, you looked at the big picture and ensured the purpose and main message were clear and the structure and size appropriate.
EDITING: STAGE 2
Next, focus on headlines, sub-headlines and paragraphs.
Do whatever is necessary, for example:
- rewrite headlines so they are explanatory and powerful
- insert additional sub-headlines
- delete delete delete paragraphs and sentences to your heart’s content
- re-arrange the order of paragraphs and create smooth transitions
- restructure paragraphs.
So far, so good. You've completed the first two stages of editing a document.
In real life, you will zig-zag between the various stages, revisiting issues you thought you had already dealt with. But that's OK: the main thing is to have a system, so that you don't omit any stage or miss some important issue in an attempt to do everything at once.