If you are having problems rewriting, do a reverse outline for each chapter. 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 it’s time to kill them off. I know, killing your creations hurt like hell, but sometimes you have no choice in the matter.. 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 to 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.
Here’s something to keep in mind: all the scenes and characters you cut? Don’t toss them out. You might be able to use them for short stories. Just because you had to cut something out doesn’t mean the writing was bad, it means it didn’t fit into the plot and storyline you were going for. Those characters might have stories of their own to tell.