I'm now through Chapter 8 and the novel stands around 26k words. However, I'll surely go back into these past few chapters and do some rewriting -- in fact, I know just the spot where I need to do that, and what I need to do.
This new approach of going in circles -- three steps forward followed by two steps backward, editing, rewriting, fixing, then forward again -- is working wonderfully. It just takes a lot of patience to keep going back over the same material many times, and to allow for intervals of editing between intervals of writing new stuff. As long as there is some sense of forward momentum, I can keep this up.
The only snafu is that sometimes I go over stuff so much that I need a break from it in order to clear my head and restore some sense of objectivity. I lose a few days or a week at a time, but it's truly necessary, and when I return to the story I have that much-needed perspective that lets me see through the issues to the heart of the matter and target just what I need to do to keep the story in line with the overall vision and the major plot points.
Yes, it's slow, but not too tedious, and it takes great patience, but it's doable, and the results are VERY SOLID. I'm thrilled. I feel I will likely need to do only some relatively minor editing to polish the entire manuscript once the draft is complete. I do not expect to feel any need for a second draft.
The story is really cool. I like it a lot. The characters are interesting. I like them a lot. The ultimate message is important, and the ending is substantial enough to really generate emotional impact. All of that reflects my opinion, of course, but if I like it, then maybe someone else will, too.
By the way, I read on Wynn Bexton's blog how she is inspired by the Olympics. She's there right now enjoying the atmosphere -- how cool for her! I share her sentiment: there is a parallel between the years of preparation and struggle for excellence that the athletes endure and our own struggle over many years to achieve the skills to produce worthwhile results.
I know I've enjoyed seeing every medal ceremony I've managed to catch on TV. Regardless of the nationality of the athletes, I've cheered them on and felt happy for them, celebrated with them the joy they must be feeling. It truly is inspirational to see so many people making their dreams come true -- and not just the medalists, but all those fortunate to compete.