For any new writer, there is a guide in which to follow known as the five draft method. For those of us who have followed this method, we have come to know the steps quite well. There is, of course, the first draft which is more or less dumping ideas onto a page, sort of a vomit stage, second draft which is making sense of it all perhaps even creating an outline to follow for the story, the third which is starting to put the novel into manuscript form creating the rough draft, the forth which is basically doing surgery where grammar punctuation along with overall flow of novel is looked over and edited. Then comes what many consider the most critical stage of all, the fifth and final draft. This one is perhaps the most crucial of them all and in doing it there are some helpful hints that could keep a writer on task.
Tip #1 Put the Manuscript Aside for A While
This may sound like a silly thing to recommend to a writer to put aside their work after competing for the fourth draft, but there is a valid reason for this. Ask any writer when they put aside one of their manuscripts for a time then go over to read it later they find that they have a more objective view on it, and therefore able to find more mistakes than they had during the fourth draft process. So, how long should a person go before approaching the manuscript again? Well, that would depend on the individual, for some just a week is enough time others find that they need a bit longer. In the meantime for that die, hard writers, if they have another work in mind start the earlier drafts of that book.
Tip #2 Read it Out Loud
Might seem silly to someone who is doing this alone because they will more or less talking to themselves, but reading out loud does help to find errors and to see if the novel flows well. In the course of reading out loud if someone finds they are stumbling over dialogue or even description odds are there is an issue with that piece of the manuscript and it needs to be modified to flow better.
Tip #3 Be Impartial
This isn't easy for anyone after all this is our manuscript we are talking about it's a piece of ourselves, but in this stage, we have to look at it in an impartial way. If we have someone else read it or hire a beta reader we have to be willing to listen to their feedback in an objective way and be open to what they are telling us, remember we want their criticism for a reason it tells us if the novel has issues and needs some more work before being released.
Tip #4 Let It Go
The final tip is that once the novel is reworked, modified and tweaked it's time to let it go. Some of us may feel like they need to go through it yet again, fine if you feel more comfortable with a sixth or maybe a seventh draft then go for it. But remember, eventually the story has to be released if you are serious about being a writer, don't worry about whether it's perfect nothing ever is, some published authors would no doubt say that they have found some issues with their published books. Sometimes when we feel we have taken care of a good portion of the grammar, spelling and flow issues it's time to let it go.