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We always strive to write well. These small steps will help you to edit your story and make it the best one!
Take a break! It is the first thing you should do before editing after you have finished your novel. It seems that you will just lose your time and it does not make sense. You are wrong! Refresh your mind; it will help you to become more attentive and see your mistakes better.
Make up a list of questions to edit your novel. They might be various points connected with a genre, structure (well-structured or not), plot clarity and sense, characters believability, location, time and language conformity, etc. Follow this list while you are editing. It will give you a clear plan of how to start your editing and which point to choose next. Thus, you will always be able to come back to each of these points.
Organizing your editing process is crucial. Firstly, make up a copy of each chapter to have a chance to compare two variants and choose the best one. Secondly, prepare all necessary apps and books, for instance, thesaurus. You should do that in order not to be distracted searching for them while you are editing. Thirdly, summarize your editing after each chapter to have an opportunity to see your changes and notice them while you are rewriting next chapters. Also, you may use colored pens to mark the type of editing, for instance, blue is for plot editing.
Each writer has own crutch words or phrases. Try to define them and replace with others if it is necessary. However, do not replace those words, which play crucial role for the plot and make your story unique. Follow your feelings and filter them with your mind.
Make up your novel as clear as it is possible. Get rid of long, difficult uninformative sentences with wide descriptive passages and tautology (i.e., "basic fundamentals"). Sometimes it may seem that it impoverishes your novel, but, it gives dynamic and rhythm instead. Your task is to combine quality and quantity while you are editing.
It is always difficult to edit. Just be patient. Remember about breaks, checklist, and fresh mind. Never try to rewrite everything at once. One subject for one edit time. For instance, this week you are checking grammar, next – structure, next – plot, etc. It allows you to improve your novel logically and systematically, so that you will never forget anything.
The last and the most crucial step is getting a professional feedback. You may use special writer communities or a much easier way – just give someone to read your novel and then receive his/her feedback and impression. This step is always heartwarming because you can never predict someone's reaction. Still, undoubtedly, it will help much to edit your novel!