I’m working on the first rewrite of my middle grade novel Above World. Intellectually, I know that the first few chapters had a lot of problems. Intellectually, I know that a fresh look and a whole new draft of those chapters is called for.
But emotionally, it’s tough. Those first few chapters are what helped me fall in love with the story and the characters the first time around. Throwing them away feels like I’m chopping off a limb.
I can’t work in all the phrases that I loved from the first draft because the events have changed. Changed for the better, I think, but still. I miss the little character moments that don’t fit this time. I miss bits of description that helped me visualize the world, but that aren’t appropriate anymore.
Oh, sure, I’m putting in new character moments and description, and I hope they’re just as good if not better. But I know the characters now. What I’m writing elucidates and explains them. During the first draft, I was exploring the characters, I was finding them. That’s not a feeling I can get back.
Does this make any sense? Do you feel this way, too, when you do a “page one” rewrite?