Every writer knows (or should know) that once you finish writing the book, it`s not done. You need to edit. A lot of writers I know hate to edit. But I love it. For me, that’s where I find most of the gems I my stories. The really great turn of phrase. The excellent description. The better solution to a plot problem.
What should you look for when you edit? Depends on how you edit. I like to leave the book for at least a few weeks before I even look at it again. I do a general pass, reading through the story to find plot problems. Then the meat of the edits begin. I dig out my Margie Lawson class notes and start applying her classes to my work. I highlight all the main components (plot, character, dialogue, action, introspection) with different colours to see if I’ve over used one. Under used one. Once I fix those I go back and really edit for the rhetorical devices, the dialogue cues, the cliched phrases. I’ll read the whole thing out loud, not just the dialogue bits. You can always tell when something sounds clunky if you read it out loud. And I should say, that’s the process I’m GOING to do when I finally finish this NaNoWriMo 2010 book. By the end of it the novel should sparkle.
Wish I could say I’m going to write now. But it’s late so it’s bed for me.