In high school I never read over a paper after I finished writing it. I simply handed it in. I was an A student, and I didn't take the time to proofread. I remember visiting my AP English teacher, Mr. Bickmore, over Christmas break and saying how shocked I was because my writing seemed to have gone downhill. I was mixing up my homophones, and everything just felt off. Fortunately, I was catching these mistakes because I would read over my paper once to catch any little mistakes.
Mr. Bickmore calmly told me that my writing was getting any worse, I was simply starting to care more. He was right. college upped the anti, and I really wanted to get good grades. It was tougher, and I knew the grading standard was higher, so I was taking the extra time to make sure because it mattered to me.
Editing is the magic time when you take your manuscript and you polish it to make it shine.
Some of it is in the grammar--and commas are going to be the death of me. Partly because the rules on commas have changed. And making sure you used the right homophone and spelled everything correctly.
But an entirely different part of it is highlighting this action, bringing this idea forward in the story, strengthening that relationship, foreshadowing this event, bringing your theme forward so it shines.
Most of the real work comes in editing. It's hard work, but it is worth it. The drafting, the work, the moving things around and fleshing out characters are all things that need to be done if you want your book to be as good as possible.
What are your best editing tips?