You've heard it said before that most writing is REwriting. And I believe it. It's also the way I work.
I wrote the first draft of my mystery/suspense novel FAST TRACK in four months -- straight through -- then spent the next year and a half revising it. In all, it went through 14 major revisions before I found an agent (Barbara Casey) and my agent found a publisher (ArcheBooks).
Now, I'm in the process of revising book two in the series (working title: BLUFF). For the longest time, the manuscript lay dormant, partly because I've been working to promote book one, partly because of my day job at CNN, and partly because I'm, well, lazy. But I've been getting fed up with Procrastination Mode, so this week, I began writing (rewriting) again.
One discovery I made: After revising a chapter, I read it through out loud. In doing so, I found it was easier to catch typos, awkward phrasing, and to "hear" the dialogue in a way that prompted me to add tags. (eg: "'Lionel's a very strong man, Lark,' he said, emphasizing every word." -- That's the way the character said it when I read it out loud.)
So now (until further notice), I intend to keep working on a chapter until I can read it all the way through at least once without making a change. I know full well that in the course of revising the manuscript (I'm on draft #3), I'll be going back to what I've already written, probably repeatedly, but at least for now, this is the approach I'll take.
Wish me luck.
Pray for me.
Watch this space.
And, lemme know if you have any other suggestions.