By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy
If you're like me, things change as you write, new ideas enter your head and your draft turns out differently than your outline, even if it mostly follows it. You change motivations that fit better with an idea you have later, but there are scenes in the back half that still reflect the motivations you created in the first half.
Or, you plan to do X and then change your mind when you get there, but all the groundwork for X is still in the text.
Doing a fresh read really helps spot these story shifts and also reminds you of the story arc and where you've been. Knowing where you've been makes it a lot easier to figure out where you're going, and how you need to get there.
Another advantage, is that you usually continue to tweak and catch little things as you read, so by the time you're done with the draft, it might only need minor edits to finish off. It's like doing multiple drafts without actually doing multiple drafts.
It's also one possible way to get you jazzed about a project you might be losing enthusiasm for. Even books we love can get tedious when we've been working on them a while. Going back and enjoying them as a reader allows you to enjoy the story again.
Some days, the best editing can be done when you mix up the pages and read things out of order. But others, starting from page one and watching the story unfold as intended can remind you what you've done, so you know the best way to end that journey.