So I gave Draft 2 to a couple of people and got some excellent feedback on it, particularly from my brother. He gave my submission a really thorough read over; today we sat down and talked about everything. I was really glad that he picked up on the one problem chunk I mentioned last time (the part of the story that I’ve been thinking should go), so we talked about that. He gave me some great ideas for how I can go about fixing it.
Now I’m going to take some time to really figure out what I want to do. I’m going to have to go back and look at the characters again (particularly the Gelfling) to decide where the story wants to go from here. I don’t have a lot of time left (the contest closes in about 4 weeks), but I’m considering a major rewrite of some of the middle pieces. I’m going to sleep on it though, and make a definite decision tomorrow before beginning draft 3.