Something fantastic happens when you sense your book coming together. For me it's usually somewhere in the middle of the third draft, when the plot makes sense, the characters steer it in the way they want to steer it, and we are all happy. Yes, my characters are real people and we drink vodka together every night.
Do you ever get the same? How many drafts do you do, folks? I always ask this question every writer I meet, and some hardcore plotters told me they do only 1-2 drafts (I'm not a plotter), and some do 8-9 drafts or more. I'm somewhere between 3 and 4.
Draft 1. To dump a bunch of nonsense out of my head.
Draft 2. To find the plot of the story in all that drivel.
Draft 3. To chop off anything that doesn't fit.
Draft 4. To polish and ship.