I just began a rewrite. Yep, my MS is getting a total makeover. I'm 5 chapters in and only 2 1/2 have survived. You hear that other chapters? That means you have a 50% chance of making it through this rewrite alive. Them ain't bad odds. Bad news is: this is just the beginning. I'm pretty sure by the end of this rewrite nothing but the original idea that spurred the urge to write the book will remain.
The characters, setting, plot, almost every single word of my MS is disposable, err fixable. I can't get attached. I can't say "I'll never change that!" Because THAT is exactly what I WILL change. It's inevitable. I know, because I'm doing it right now. The THAT that I didn't want to change is the THAT that needed changing the most.
Oh, you can revise, and edit, and revise, and edit until your fingers bleed, but what you really need to do is take a delete button to your MS and start hacking at the parts you "like just the way they are." Pages will get messy, paragraphs will be broken, and sentences will be sliced in two. It'll be uggg-llly! Your MS will be puffy, and scabbed, and bruised. You may even hate it (or wish it had died from loss of blood), but don't give up! The big reveal at the end will be well worth the agony.
Have you ever performed a rewrite? Yes? No? Scared to death of it?
Anyone have a spare Band-Aid? My second chapter is...totally gone.