So is this the fourth draft of The Fall Of The Hammer that I'm working on now, or the fifth? Do you blame me from being in a murk about something like that, when it feels as if the whole world is melting into puddles under our feet? But hey, at least the edit wheels keep turning. And I tried out an editing trick that proved to be quite the winner.
How many drafts, now? Well, one thing I know for sure is that another draft sorta-kinda snuck in along the way when I stopped about three-fourths of the way through the story, backed up to the start, and began a rewrite as a prelude to reaching the conclusion the story needed rather than the conclusion I'd been headed towards.
Anyway, I've now reached the line-edit phase. Whatever changes happen to the story from this point on are minor and cosmetic — everything from here on out is spelling, grammar, word choices, continuity, etc.
This phase is also the perfect time to try out a trick I've been recommended many times, but only now employed. When in the edit cycle of a work: change the base font of the document to something you don't normally use when writing. This forces the whole thing to look new to your own eyes, and so mistakes stand out better. I was skeptical of how effective this was, but it does help.
At the rate I'm going, it'll be about a month before I have the full manuscript in the can. A good pace. At least some wheels are turning these days, right?