I'm finally through the initial read-through. Man, it was a struggle to just read the thing without going to town with the line editing, but I really wanted to just read it as a reader-- as much as possible, anyway.
Here are my general impressions of the draft, act by act:
This is the Act that will need to be the most aggressively edited. There's a lot of dead wood to be cut: actions that don't need to be on the page, beginnings of threads that got dropped later, unnecessary dialogue tags-- that sort of thing. The dialogue in two scenes needs to be rewritten (because now that I've written the rest of the book I know there are more future-plot-relevant things for them to discuss), and I need to add probably two pages' worth of backstory and worldbuilding in order to explain things that didn't make it from my brain to the page. I have one plot hole that I've already figured out how to fill. And the pacing needs to be sorted out-- some scenes are longer than they need to be, some are shorter.
One strength of this Act is the tone. It has this kind of low-key folksy cadence to it that's close to how Willa would actually speak. I like it a lot, but it totally vanishes after Act I. So part of my line editing for Acts 2-4 will be to bring more of that tone back into the writing.
More dead wood, more pacing issues, although neither as extensive as in Act I. I'll need to cut and add, and make some decisions about how deeply I want to portray the other envoys at the summit, but it's mostly line editing here, focusing on tone and on more authentically exploring emotions.
The pacing, plot elements, and emotional resonance works for me here. There's one unnecessary minor character that I have decided to combine with another minor character, and one scene that is currently summarized and needs to be dramatized instead, but other than that it's line editing-- tone, and general polishing.
The writing gets stronger the further I get into the draft. This Act is basically fine. Some of the angsting will have to be cut (it's tiresome), and I have had a change of heart about a minor character introduced here that will mean completely re-casting the part and changing the scenes s/he appears in accordingly... but other than those tweaks, just line editing. Except for the final scene, which I wrote at the beginning of the process, and therefore kind of sucks. That thing is going to need to some Extreme Makeover shit.
And now I have exhausted and slightly depressed myself.