With everything we do, including writing, we have our strengths and we have the areas where we need to concentrate a little harder on. But it's not always obvious and we need to be told, or suggested what our weaknesses are.
If you're like me it took you a while to complete your novel. For me, with the manuscript I'm working on now, it has taken 2 years. By the time you get to the end and think you're ready to publish your book, hopefully your writing has improved somewhat. But you don't always see what those improvements are and what still needs tweaking.
I was fortunate enough to have a beta-reader who could spot where the book needed extra work and honest enough to tell me what I needed to fix. Since then I have begun to tiresome challenge of rewriting again.
To understand where your weaknesses lie, listen to what people say when they are critiquing your work. Sometimes they are subtle comments, others are right in your face. As I began the arduous journey of rewriting again, I have been lucky enough to have a mother who was an editor at one time in her life. Reading the book out loud to her has helped me to see the areas of creative writing I need to concentrate my efforts on.
Plus an added bonus, I have a critique partner who's a pretty good writer and is willing to go over the book with me again.
When someone says to you, "Hey, loved your story, but I'm going to send the grammar police after you," you know you need to work on your grammar. Another good one is, "I don't see the scene very well, can you draw me a picture?" You need to work on your descriptions. Or how about, "I got lost at the part in your book where..." subplots. Or "What happened when..." subplots.
There will be all kinds of hints if you stop and listen to what your beta-readers, critique partners, or even your family of friends say about your book. But another way to know what you need to add extra attention to is what does your own gut say to you while you're reading it?
No one is a perfect writer, and the more you write, the stronger your skills will become - especially if you take the time to learn where the problems are. I know it can be a bummer to have to rewrite again, but look at it this way - it's a learning curve and you're willing to do the extra time and get it to where you can be excited about your manuscript. Nothing wrong with that!
I would love to know your rewriting journeys and what you've learned along the way. Leave me a comment and be proud of yourself for taking the time to get it as right as you can make it!