The dreaded editing and revision process
Unfortunately, unless you want to appear a complete fool to your publisher and the general public, necessity demands that writers go through a finished story with a fine tooth comb. But typos, missing apostrophes and commas are only part of the process.
The first thing I do when revising a finished story is hit the 'find' button on my PC and type in '-ly.' I have often been accused of over doing the adverbs and this is by far the easiest way to check out whether they have been breeding like rabbits again across my prose. Once balance has been restored on the adjectival front, I then examine how passive and/or active my verbs are, by using the 'find' button to seek out the words 'was' and 'were' and anything ending in '-ing.'
By this point, I am usually ready for a stiff drink but somehow I have to resist because I need to check out my very Northern habit of using the word 'that' in every sentence - often incorrectly. Having spent years telling Secondary school children to try to avoid the infantile words 'get'/'big'/'little' and 'small' - I next examine whether, or not, I have been practising what preach.
At this point the mood in my study has usually turned sour with boredom and the concentration has become a strain. While the written language may be improving, the audible language has turned a pale shade of blue. After a final look for any overuse of the word 'as,' and the misuse of the word 'whilst,' I then hit the 'print' button and grab my 'red' pen. Yes, 'Miss' marks her own work - in red ink.
It is unbelievable how different a story looks on the printed page; how many mistakes there are; how many sentences and whole sections exist which are surplus to requirement. The first draft usually ends up covered in crossings out, arrows and other strange hieroglyphics. Finally, the corrections are transferred to the word processed version.
I then breath a huge sigh of relief, grab a glass of wine and seek out a trusted friend to review the whole thing. :)