Okay. I have the manuscript printed out.
I did some brainstorming in the shower on how I can save as much of what I remember of the story as possible WITHOUT breaking what I did in the first two books, or the last two.
Worst case, I’ll end up writing a completely new novel. That’s about as bad as fiction-writing worst cases get, though, and I’m not eager to do that.
So while I was letting the shower pound on my head, I figured out some ways I might be able to keep a lot of what I did in Book 3 WHILE working in the Primary Five-Book problem (which I didn’t figure out until I was about halfway through Book Five).
The primary problem is evident in the first chapter of Book One. I just didn’t extrapolate from RESULTS backwards to CAUSES to identify the problem until I started thinking through this massive revision.
It became clear there, it’s BEEE-YOOO-TEE-FUL!, and mostly my Muse/Gut/Subconscious Mind got all the stuff I needed into the books without me identifying why I needed them.
Not, though, in this book. In this book, I ran off chasing wild Scots, and as a result, I face a lot of work to get things on track.
However, post-shower, I don’t think I’m going to have to throw this book out and start fresh.
That’s big. From what I remember of the book, there’s a lot in it that still fits the later books, and that can be saved.
With under four-hundred manuscript pages now sitting on my desk, I’m going to do one no-touch read-through just to reacquaint myself with what’s in there. I’ll take notes in my series notebook.
THEN and ONLY THEN, I’ll brainstorm solutions to the question: What’s worth saving, and what has to go?
Wish me luck.