Writing a first draft was horrible. It was long, confusing, scattered, and painful to write.
My second draft is putting my book through major reconstructive surgery. More fun than the first, but still a heck of a lot of work.
But you know what's beautiful?
This week I hit the point in the rewrite where I can look back and think, "Yes. This is the real thing."
I see the work that still needs to be done. Trust me, it's a lot. But I can also tell that I've finally struck gold. I'm on the right track in this version. How do I know and what makes this time different than the other drafts? It just feels right. That sounds lame, I know, but I mean it. Everything is coming together the way I want it to this time: voice, description, sense of place, characterization, pacing, all of it.
What I'm writing now will be recognizable in the final product.
Progress feels so good.
I'll have a solid, functioning, completed second draft by Christmas at the latest.