After a crazy second half of 2013, I picked up my first book to continue with rewrites. I had a mostly-clear idea of what needed to change and why, and had already made a start on about 20 pages in a new opening. What's more, I was loving the new opening, and the freedoms that came with my main character's change in circumstances--turns out, moving down in Victorian society completely transformed her expectations. And my own!
So I was chugging happily along with my rewrites, and had nearly reached the point where these pages would mesh up with a section of text from the original version.
But then, it didn't.
I'd gone in a completely different direction, and now trying to get the two versions to meet was like trying to join the two sections of a transcontinental railroad and discovering they're different gauges of track. So I tried a different transitional scene, one that logic told me would lead to where I wanted it to.
No go--wrote myself right into a dead end. Time to step back and take stock of the-pages-that-be, as opposed to the-pages-that-were.
My plan is to do a completely new outline from scratch--without looking at the detailed one for the previous version. If a scene or plot point genuinely belongs, it'll come back to me. Hopefully.
And perhaps this strategy will let me see this version of the story more objectively, and let it develop its own voice organically. I've resigned myself that it may mean a complete and total rewrite, for the betterment of the book.
And that's the ultimate goal, isn't it? To keep growing and learning as a writer, to craft better books? (Yeah, ask me again in a month or so, when I'm kicking myself for doing things the hard way, hee hee.)
But I want to hear from you--have you ever ditched an entire manuscript to start over and survived to tell the tale?