When you have completed your manuscript, it's time to begin the job of reviewing and editing your work. This will entail not only looking for misspelled words and incorrect word usage, but also ensuring that your story line flows from beginning to end. Make use of that program called Spell Check. Go through the entire document and make all the necessary changes. Never fully rely on Spell Check though. If you misspelled a word and created a new word in the process, it might not pick it up as an error. If you need to change a specific word that is used more than once, your word program should have a function for that as well.
Editing also means you must ensure that your initial decisions about characters, plot, timing and so on are consistent and follow through as originally planned. You might find that some elements have to be reworked and parts of your manuscript need to be rewritten. You might also have to do some cutting in areas where you’ve rambled on too much about one thing.
Now, set your manuscript aside for a few days. Then re-read your work from start to finish as if you’ve never seen it before. Be objective. Does it flow properly? Does it make sense? Does the plot follow nicely and culminate properly at the end of your story? When you are finished, set your manuscript aside again for at least one week. Then go through this very same process again. I know it sounds tedious, but it is vitally important. If your work is untidy, doesn’t flow, has many spelling errors or is too confusing, it will get tossed very quickly.
If you are not willing or patient enough to do this, you could use editing software. You will find free editing software at The Free Site. Another site with an XML Copy Editor for Windows 2000 can be found at http://xml-cop-editor.sourceforge.net. For more professional software, go to the Writers Super Center where you will pay $150.
Of course, you can also hire a professional editor to do it for you. I have edited quite a number of books and my rates are very reasonable. I charge on a sliding scale that goes up to $375 for up to 400 pages. For $100 more, I also provide a critique of your book and for $75, introduction pages about you and your book. However, I would suggest that you check around to get the best rate.