I believe that the best way to write a novel, memoir or screenplay is to work with a story coach from the beginning. The problem with writing it in a vacuum is that so often a story goes off the rails early on, and then everything that follows is largely irrelevant. Which too often means page one rewrite or unnecessary frustration!
Figuring out what your story is about before you write (or revise) it, and then making sure that it’s clear, engaging and on the page from the very first sentence is the only thing that actually cuts down on rewriting time (not to mention the strong possibility of having to ditch an entire draft.)
Will you rewrite each chapter several times as you go? Probably. But you won’t be polishing it, you’ll be making sure that it gives readers what they come for: the experience of being inside the protagonist’s skin, as they wrestle with their own inner demons in order to solve the escalating story problem.
The key thing to remember is this: your story isn’t simply about the plot; it’s about how the plot affects your protagonist. Step-by-step this challenge of pitting a character against external events to create or realize internal change is why readers read commercial fiction.