Hanging out with my characters longer.

One chapter left to rewrite.

Interesting journey. I'm going to go ahead and write the rest of the book before I try to consolidate the two versions, so I won't really know how well it works until that happens, but my sense is that I've added some depth and texture that wouldn't otherwise be there.

And it certainly helps that the new version is sequentially and tonally correct.

It ended up at 32K words, which replaced 24K words, so already I've done some fleshing out. I figure I'm about halfway through a first draft. Basically, I write sparsely in my first draft, getting the plot down as fast as I can and then going back later and adding description and detail.

This way, I'm doing both.

The unexpected bonus is that I'm spending twice as much time covering the same timespan; that is, I'm hanging out with the characters longer. I don't know if that has had a material effect on my story, but I do like the characters and it can't hurt to get to know them better.

The question I always have to ask myself when I finish a book is--did I work hard enough on it? All things being equal, the one thing I have some real control over is how much time I take to do it. So spending twice as much time is certainly being diligent, and doing it this way keeps the story fresh.