Overall a person should write their story like a parent, but edit like a critic. The last thing you want as an author is to spend all that time writing/editing and after publishing it someone points out a flaw you missed or knew was there but didn’t bother to fix.
When you are writing no one knows what your story is/will be about and that is the point. They don’t have to know about it until you are ready to release it to the world. But once you start preparing it, you have to edit for such a place (and it can be pretty harsh).
One way I do this is by thinking about it like a critic would.
- Does everything make sense?If not fix it.
- Some thing out-of-place? Probably is.
- A word seem not right? Probably is.
- Not too sure about something? The reader will pick up on it too.
If you want to have a go at being a critic, pick up a book/download one and read it. List all the things you think are wrong;
- Telling not showing.
- Not enough/too much dialogue.
- Characters not acting like their personality indicates?
- World doesn’t seem realistic?
When I go through my book for editing I think ‘What would a reviewer think of this?’ or ‘What would I like the reviewer to/not to say?’.
- Do I want them to say my characters are great? Well I better write them fucking well.
- Do I want people to say it was enjoyable to read? Better make sure it is.
- I don’t want people to say it has spelling mistakes. So I better go over those words with a dictionary comb.
If you think that you’re lacking in a certain area? Try to identify the problem as much as possible. Then look online/ask someone about how to improve/fix it.