How does one go about editing their work? I know people who will edit as they go. There are a few who wait until they are done. Then there are those who write one draft, call it perfection, then whine when others find many issues.
I edit as I go most of the time. Then I read through once I'm done, then I email it off to people who know better than to say: "Wow, this is the most brilliant thing ever!" I am horrible at catching the little things. I have a tendency to add letters to words: and instead of an; that kind of thing.
Grammar? I can honestly leave it. I ignore a lot of things that come up during grammar check. I am not writing a term paper or thesis, therefore, I do not care if I have a fragment. Especially when writing dialogue, or when I am in a character's head. It's not that I don't think grammar is unimportant - it really is. But I find that there has to be leeway when writing fiction - urban fantasy is what I am doing at the moment.
If I was writing an epic tome of literary abandon, or writing a technical paper or manual, then I would really hunker down on my grammar. I would not have as many - if any - fragment sentences. I know a couple of professional tutors that would absolutely cringe at some of the stuff I write. Because according to them, (male and female) there is no reason to not follow the rules of grammarians everywhere. I happen to disagree. I do not write for the academic masses anymore, nor am I trying to write the Great American Novel.
I have gone out of my way to split my infinitives, misplace modifiers, and so on. But, my writing is heavy on the dialogue. And characters do not speak perfect grammar. Sometimes they don't even use the right words. But I feel that is what makes characters more identifiable, more realistic.
Now, there is a difference between completely foregoing all grammar rules and bending a few here and there. I like to bend. And when the people I have reading my work give me their thoughts and critiques, grammar is never an issue. Sure, there might be one or two things that I didn't catch the first few rereads, but all in all, it is not that big a deal. Most of the feedback I get deals with issues that I have brought up myself.
I know that having a degree in writing and literature makes people think that your writing should be flawless. No writing is. And there are many well known authors who make grammatical errors. So, when you are asked to read someones work, or are in the process of editing your own, take care in how you address what you think are grammatical errors. Remember the genre you are reading, as well as the way the writer goes about telling their story. Not every rule applies to every piece of writing.
So, as I get ready to edit the novel I have been working on, I have to keep this in mind. I will make the best effort I can to catch all of the added letters, the weirdly worded sentences, as well as the parts where it becomes obvious that I was half asleep when I wrote it. Because, when you feel that you have done your best, that is when to let your baby have a sleep over at a friends and hope that everything goes the way you want.