Beneath the Skin: Levels of Editing Poems, a guest post by Marilyn McCabe is one of the better sets of advice I’d run across on how to improve a draft. Applies to prose too. She elaborates three levels:
- text on the page – adverbs, adjectives, punctuation, line breaks.
- intention – does the poem achieve what I want/intend.
- ambition – why am I doing this?
Worth a read.