So, what was so wrong with Draft 2?
It lacked what I believe any story worth it's salt must contain: a cohesive story thread. A well told story is carefully woven. Every character, scene, and description carries the reader toward an inevitable--yet not predictable--conclusion. Free-written over 19 sessions, Draft 2 had detail, dialogue and drama, but the story's ending had very little to do with where it began. In fact, a truly relevant beginning had yet to be written.
Enter my dubious 'inner editor'--what if it can't be written? Is it possible to write a story backward and have it not come across as contrived? Do I even want to bother?
This is when I wished I was working with a one thousand word manuscript rather than one closer to twenty and shoved the offending masterpiece in a drawer for the summer.
With a few months perspective I can now appreciate the role of Draft 2: it helped me discover the character whose story I was trying to tell. How was I to know that her story would be somewhat different than the one I had planned?
Almost 6,000 words into Draft 3 even I can see that my story is more cohesive-- it's just not pretty. I guess 'pretty' will have to wait for Draft 4.
My best NaNoWriMo wishes to you all.