If you haven’t already, try reading your manuscript out loud. It’s amazing how words sound different when read out loud.
I usually read my manuscript out loud and edit as I go along, but you can also have someone else read it to you. Hearing your words will help you notice things you normally wouldn’t—good and bad. Take notes and really pay attention to word choice, dialogues, descriptions, plots, subplots, and pacing. It may also be easier to catch overused words.
Here’s another idea: Read it out loud and record your voice.
Staring at the same words over and over can strain your eyes, making it easier to miss things. Try reading a chapter out loud and record it. Now you can listen to it multiple times, while taking notes. Stay away from any distractions and sit quietly with your notepad and your headphones. Maybe even close your eyes. You may be surprised at what you’ll find.
Remember: Reading your manuscript out loud will also help you prepare for future book readings.