I had to laugh the other day when I read on an agent's website -- I think it was Ethan Ellenberg, by all accounts a crackerjack agent that any writer would be lucky to have -- that the prospective author should be sure to have done at least "three drafts" before submitting his ms.
I have been through this mofo so many times I've lost count. I think it's at least twelve. Even on the twelfth run-through I found two typos -- "going" instead of "go" and "ext" instead of "exit" -- and a few other things I wanted to change a bit.
But I am done now. I've rewritten chapter one three or four times in the last week so it's more "First Five Pages"-worthy. If there's a typo left anywhere in the ms. I'll never find it.
In a way it's a relief, but it also means I've got nothing left to do, writing-wise, except look at the e-mail in-box and see if I've penetrated the barbed-wire barrier that surrounds agent world far enough to get someone to ask to see my book.
Or start on that second novel. You know, the one for which I have no ideas...