Much more rapidly than I'd anticipated, the second draft is complete and has been sent to my lucky beta reader! I must be getting better at my first draft editing, as things were more coherent than I expected. There were only a few inconsistencies to fix, and many of my edit notes had already been addressed. I added a bit to the opening, and tightened up the resolution, but the bits in the middle mainly need textual tightening rather than functional changes.
My guess of stripping 5% out while tightening the text, and adding 5% back of enhancements wasn't far off the mark. It's slightly shorter, but not much, coming in at just under 100,500.
I even managed to make sense of some of my more enigmatic review notes, such as "gout moustache" and "glow and bend" which was fairly good going.
So while waiting for feedback, which could take a few weeks, I'll start work on the big relaunch project. While it's fresh in my mind, I'll first write a sequel short story to The Muffler's Ministry, called A Muffler's Miscalculation.
Not quite sure whether I'll write it next, but I'm also making notes for a second novel in The Muffler's universe (which will probably be its series name), called The Muffler's Mission. And I already know how that will set up the third, as yet untitled, book in the series.
This first one can be read very much as a standalone novel though. I may write something else before the next one. Or maybe even more short stories in the same world. We will see.