I made it--Draft 3 is done and a month ahead of schedule.
What got me there so fast? A jolt of NaNoWriMo enthusiasm combined with a healthy dose of resignation--there was no avoiding Draft 4.
Trying to write a perfect third draft was getting me nowhere. My average monthly word count for September and October was a whopping 1600 words and I assure you they were far from perfection. By permitting myself to write tripe, I actually got something salvageable on the page, which is a hell of a lot better than what I was working with on September 1.
1600 Words? Pah! That's a mornings' work at most.
So how does one celebrate a not-so-shitty third draft? This writer headed to her favourite sandwicherie for a B.L.T. --heavy on the B-- followed by a veritable chocolate chip cookie and cappuccino. (I concede some work is required on the reward system associated with this method, but it was the best I could do given the time available.)
So now it's on to the inevitable Draft 4. I suppose I'll have to resign myself to Draft 5 before I start...
That may take a week.