- Theme revision
What you’ll do in this step is revising what has been said. If you’ve done plenty of planning before writing, the first draft of the novel (as advised) won’t need a lot of editing. In a nutshell, you’ll make sure your novel deals with the theme that you picked in the beginning, and that the reader understands it. Furthermore, make sure while reading your story that the message corresponds with the premise you’ve chosen to defend. You’ll have to do this with every subplot, separating them from the main plot and checking if the theme and the premise of that part of the story are comprehensible.
- Cohesion, consistency and credibility
While writing, the characters tend to come to life, and this often means that what you wanted your characters to do (that is to say, the argument) could be off topic in some parts. This is really something good. The change of opinion regarding certain minor aspects of the story, once you are getting to know it in full detail, must result in a better story. However, this also means that you’ll need to carefully review the manuscript in order to find the mistakes and inconsistencies that might have slipped from you.
Cohesion is the way of relating and uniting the different words, sentences, and paragraphs of the text, so that they may be understood as parts of the whole. Although your plot may justify incoherence, the overall text needs to give the reader a clear sense of integrity so that the novel can flow naturally.
As we know, novels have their own logic where each event has its cause and consequence. If there are scenes, attitudes, and actions in our novel, these sections will impede the comprehension of the story. All the actions, attitudes, and thoughts of our protagonists need to be consistent with everything previously written about them, so we can reach the end, even if this might be a surprise to the reader. The resolution must be credible and relevant to the previous events.
Credibility is closely tied to coherence. By respecting the logic of our tale, our characters must act, talk, and think as we designed them. Any contradicting element in their profile will diminish the credibility of that character, and by consequence that of the whole story. In the same manner, if there is an unpredictable resolution or action, this will seem less credible and will spread a sense of falsehood throughout the story.