How many drafts do you write for any particular story or novel? For short stories and novellas I usually pen two or three drafts, the last of which is more a polishing cleanup than full restructuring of the tale. But with novels it’s different. I am on what amounts to my fourth draft of The Doorlands. I say “amounts to” because I am still calling it the third draft even though things have become irreparably muddled. I got through about half of this third run through, discovered some earlier changes I would like to make, and doubled back. I have now rewritten the bulk of my outline, and though it resembles the previous two drafts, major changes are in store. The resulting work will not be the same book. Maybe I should break down and call it draft four after all.
— david j.