After your few days or weeks off, read through the entire manuscript without stopping to fix every typo. Look at the bigger things like pacing, scene order, and plot holes. I printed out the first draft so I was able to use post-it flags to mark pages where I wanted to make changes. Sometimes I would write out a bigger post-it explaining what I wanted to do. For example, I spent several pages building up to a climatic event, only to rush through the event in a couple paragraphs when it finally happened. I made a note to myself to go back and elaborate. Also, since a lot of what I wrote in the first draft wasn't exactly as I had outlined, multiple times I had to go back and add a scene to make a later one make sense. After I read through the manuscript, I went back and flagged where I would add scenes and what they would say.
Once you know your plot, scenes, characters, and pacing are solid, you can start going through the draft slowly to change the little things.
For me, the most important part of this process--and the most annoying--is rewriting. If you're anything like me, during your first draft, there were scenes you thought were absolute crap but you kept pushing through and writing to keep the story moving and to finish the draft. Those scenes are the ones that need rewriting. It's a necessary evil, but it has to be done.
Lastly, look for inconsistencies. Halfway through my first draft of Renegades, I switched the names of two planets. It even had me confused. I also wrote about the distance between two places. The first time I mentioned it, the distance was 5 feet. The second time, it was 10 feet. Don't worry if you don't catch all those little mistakes now. Your beta readers and editor(s) should help you with that.
Although you'll feel like you made a lot of progress, you'll have to edit again later in the process! But first, you need some feedback. Before you rush out and hire an editor, I would suggest getting a handful of beta readers. Don't know what beta readers are? Stay tuned for my next blog post! Happy editing!