A writer friend, and in so many ways, a mentor, read a chunk of the first draft of Fata Morgana. This friend has a film writing background, and he introduced me to a term I had not heard before as fiction writer, the word is auditioning.
When Ian began sending his notes back to me, he would write, something akin to, "Try auditioning this..." And, he would continue his suggestion by offering an alternative to a bit of dialogue, an addition to a scene, or a small quirk of a character. At first, I had no idea what he meant by auditioning this or that. Then I got it.
An audition of small, or sometimes large things within a story comes from the world of film, and it merely means, "Try this out." Ian could have used those words, but auditioning fit. Just as a person auditions for a role, or musicians audition for a place in a band or group, the same holds true when writing fiction. Does X make the cut or not? (You can always do callbacks, too.)
A writer does not need to have the first draft to conduct auditions, but, I have found that having the "complete" story down helps because you can view the audition within the larger whole of the story, and ask the question, "Does X fit?" Maybe it does, and perhaps it does not. As Ian would often remind me, "This is your project; you decide, I'm not telling you should do X, Y, or Z, but consider giving it an audition." Wow! What fantastic advice, and I chose to see if doing so enhanced my work. It has.
Remember, everything can be rewritten, and as drafts evolve, you will find yourself doing your share of rewriting. Don't be afraid to audition a new twist, a unique character trait, or even an entirely new scene. There is nothing to be scared of; either the thing auditioning makes it or it doesn't, and you move on through the manuscript until you see a spot you think could use a bit of help and you open auditions. Since you are putting words on paper, there will be no hurt feelings to deal with when you say, "Sorry, you didn't make it"; they're just words after all.
Many thanks to Ian Brash, one hell of a critic, an excellent writer, and all around good guy for any author to have on their side.