Self-editing is a very important component in fiction writing. Spend some time editing your story after you have completed it. Here are a few pointers to make that happen:
- Several Rounds – Take one aspect of the story and read the entire story keeping that aspect in mind, for example, is your character behaving consistently? Did you use all five senses appropriately? Repeat the process until you have reviewed for all aspects. You will be surprised how much you find and change in every round. If you try to do everything in one go, you will likely miss quite a bit.
- Remove Redundancy – Are there any unnecessary elements that need to be removed to make the story tight? This goes back to the basics of scene writing, that every scene has a pulse. If there are elements that don’t gel with that pulse, they need to be removed.
- Story Adjustment – Is the story too long or too short in any place? This is a high level concept that you need to sit back and ponder on, once you have read your story.
- Under-developed – Is there any place where the story is under developed in character, action, imagery or theme?
Repetitions – Do you have repetitions of words or concepts in places that you need to modify. This can easily happen when you are writing your first draft. This one is easily identifiable and fixable.
An excellent book for self-editing is Self-Editing for Fiction Writers.