The next step is to ask someone for help again. For this readthrough, the focus will be on smaller issues.
This is a summary page of the “Now What?” series, with links to each part.
You’ve struggled and sweat over your novel for a long time, but now it’s time to have someone else go over it for you, whether that’s a professional editor or someone you trust.
It’s a lot of work to rewrite. But you, as the author, are the only one who can do it. No one else can do this work without losing your voice; no one else can see the story that you have in your head and translate it to the page.
I’m not talking about editing here (we’ll get to that.) Rewriting is much deeper. You’re not polishing; you’re tearing down and rebuilding. If your story were a house, you’d be tearing down the garage and adding a new bedroom, not just painting the siding.
Congratulations! You’ve finished your novel. Maybe you managed to do it all during National Novel Writing Month. Maybe it’s been the labor of several decades.
Regardless, you’ve finished.