If you are having problems rewriting, do a reverse outline for each chapter. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do all the scenes have to do with the main plot and a couple minor plots in the book?
Do all the characters move the story along or are some bogging it down?
If any characters do nothing to advance the story, then get rid of them. The same goes for any subplots. If the subplot has nothing to do with the main plot, get rid of it.
Once you have skinned your book down to solid bare bones, then comes the time to rebuild. The scenes and characters you have left behind need to be solidly connected and fleshed out. Yes, it is going to take time, but now you have two things in your favor.
- You have already written this once. You know how the remaining characters sound and act.
- You have a plan to work from, based on the notes you made when you were tearing it apart.
Once you have finished the rewrite, it’s time to send it back out to your beta reader to find out if the rewriting made a difference.