On Saturday, I finished Draft 3 of the Thief Book. (Finally, a full fledged draft. Usually, they get hinky numbers like Draft 2.5. But that's a story for another time.) I'm happy.
This Draft is, in my mind, a significant improvement over the old draft. I expunged the melodrama in Chapter 3, broke Chapter 3 into two chapters to save it from being painfully long, and replaced the last 3k with an ending that didn't scream at the top of its lungs "I'm trying too hard!!!"
A step up from the last draft where I cut 38k, three characters (including one I'd intentionally written into the text), and changed the entire ending, this kept more than I tossed. I cut 5k, replaced a bit over 2k, and 3 scenes, each to replace with a smaller moment in a different scene. It certainly hurt a lot less this time around.
This might be, dare I say it, locked. Not that there won't be some tweaking with word choice and such things, but I think I've got the plots/events and emotional arcs set the way I like them. For the first time, I'm not setting the draft down for a break with a lingering, niggling sensation of something not being right. (Or, you know, having a whole list of things that need to be fixed.) I think I've finally hewn my wood into the proper shape, as it were. I'm feeling that good about it.
How are you guys coming along with your WIPs?