Love the analogy, Nola - it does put the different levels of editing needed in perspective.
I'm in first draft mode with Stone of the Sea atm (it looks a bit like a dog's breakfast) - but once I get it all down, I'll be tweaking the structure and making sure all the core elements are there. Then for the undercoat :) And maybe two top coats (as we do live in a blistering climate).
Sounds good, Jenny. Can't wait to read it :) I'm still getting my woodwork in order, then an undercoat before it goes out to beta readers. Though I expect more than two top coats for mine. Maybe twenty - LOL Good luck with yours and thanks for commenting :)