Today I'm humming that song from The Wizard of Oz, you know, the "Makeover-Oz edition" tune sung in the Emerald City. Because the cutting (and pasting -- it isn't all lost) for The Manuscript That Ate New York has begun. Last night, I sat in the living room with both versions of the Prologue and all three version of Chapter One, as well as the one version of Chapter Two and started to try to figure out what the heck I was thinking 'way back when I started the book. I now have some idea of what I'm going to do -- the shorter prologue is the one to use, even though the longer one contains what I originally envisioned at the opening of the book. Sorry, editor, that scene now bites the dust. Why? It reveals too much.
Then I went to Chapter One. I've now know who I want to focus on in the first scene (the hero), and how/when to move to the heroine for the second scene. The hero and heroine meet in the second scene. Chapter Two will now move back to the hero, to show his reaction to the meet, because we've been in the heroine's head during the meet. I have that meeting written from both points of view (hence the different chapters), so I'll be cutting and pasting various bits of the hero's reaction from the meet scene to the next one.
Sound like a drag? A lot of depressing re-writing? Not to me. I love this part of the process. It's like I've assembled all the ingredients for a meal and finally decided on the menu (the first draft) and now I'm going to start the cooking. I'll be (mentally) like those chefs you see charging around the kitchen, excited, complaining, shouting, exclaiming and generally living life with gusto.
To add to the fun, it's spring. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, it even smells like spring. Later I hope to get out for a good long walk. And you'd better believe there'll be a big ol' grin on my face.