How do you decide a draft is done?
I’ve been working on the fourth draft of my novel (at least, I think it’s the fourth draft but it’s probably only like a 3 1/6 draft . Keep reading and you’ll understand why I’m not even sure what qualifies as a draft). For the last couple days I’ve focused on the final twelve pages or so, trying to get them whipped into decent shape before calling this draft complete. Well, today I’ve realized all sorts of stuff I need to change (lots of minor details but also rewriting several scenes). And now I’m not sure how to proceed.
I can’t decide whether to
A) finish messing with the final pages and then start a whole new document for my next draft or
B) finish messing with the final pages AND go back to make minor changes throughout entire ms before starting a whole new document for the next draft
Is there a compelling reason to choose one approach over another? How do you handle this? I’m wondering whether I’ll lose stuff I might end up wanting if I make all those changes yet I also think if I call this draft complete, then I’ll, what? I’m not really sure what I’m worried about. All I know is neither approach is screaming out to me. Man, I’m some kind of confused right now.
And here I am asking for advice on a Friday afternoon in July.
Help! Anyone out there?