My editing process varies and I suspect, is not the most efficient method. Nevertheless, it’s what I've been using for a while and I’m kind of comfortable with it.
First, I write. I may look over what I wrote the day before and make some changes, but basically, I write until the story is done. While I’m writing, I send my daily or weekly progress to my critique partner, who gives it a second pair of eyes and looks for grammar mistakes, as well as consistency (eye color that doesn’t change, etc.).
Then, I try to set it aside for awhile. Everyone says the story needs time to gel and that your brain needs a break and I’ve found this to be true. I’ve also found this break is good because when I go back to what I’ve written, I find it’s not always as horrible as I think it is! J
The first thing I do when editing is reread the entire manuscript. As I’m rereading, I take different color highlighters and assign different colors to different things—pink for the heroine, blue for the hero, yellow for a subplot, etc. This helps me keep track of things like POV switches, character development, subplots that fizzle, etc.
Once I’ve gone through and fixed those problems, I look for repeated words and phrases, too many adverbs, passive voice, etc. Our website has a great reference for some of these—look on the right side of the website and click on HWH’s Helpful Writing Tips.
I also look for any areas that need to be fleshed out and any scenes that just aren’t working for me.
What do you do?