I didn’t use a word of the first version of Ohio 2. Even my “and’s” and “the’s” are brand new, and fresh and sparkling.
NOW, HOWEVER… the novel sits for a week or two or maybe three while I outline Ohio Three. Ohio Three will also be brand-new. I won’t even be reading the old Ohio Three, because I took the town and the magic in better direction.
I have to let TWO grow cold so that all the love I feel for it right now has a chance to die down.
If I love it too much, I won’t be willing to do what has to be done to fix it.
Once I have the new Ohio Three outlined, I’ll go back do my read-through of Two, and my debug, and when that is done, I’ll print out a fresh copy and hand off to Matt for editing.
And while he’s editing, I’ll start writing Three.
Yeah, I’m going to end up having four completely unused novels sitting on my hard drive when I’m done repeating this process.
Am I going to do anything with them?
Dunno. I might pull out especially egregious wrecks as demos for my writing students.
I might point to all four novels and in the Voice of Doom, say something like, “BEWARE THE IDE(A)S OF MARCH…” (work-safe Wikipedia link)
But I’ll probably just wince at the bruises those books gave me, and give them wide berth.