When I returned to it this week I ended up moving two chapters from the first third of the manuscript to the end. I was never satisfied with how the story ended and this gives it a much stronger and compelling close.
Of course, that means that I have to rework some other chapters but that's part of the process. I wish I could write a polished first draft that didn't need any work, but that's wishful thinking.
I even deleted some extraneous passages to make it tighter and improve the flow. Any time you're involved in rewrites, you eliminate needless words, phrases, and cliches.
There were also some inconsistencies I hadn't noticed before that needed to be corrected. I keep a notebook and index cards on my desk to help me keep things straight. That saves time searching through the manuscript, which can be a time-killer. There's software that can help, but I'm afraid that I'd be so involved in inputting data that it'd take me away from writing.
My tentative goal is to be finished with the rewrites by the end of the month, then submit the manuscript to my publisher. From there, it will get reviewed by a critical set of eyes, go through a few more (minor, I hope) changes, and evolve into a published work.
Until the next time...