When I was sick in bed with a 103 degree fever a few weeks back, I had a lot of time to think. As it turns out, I thought mostly about writing. Go figure. Anyway, I thought a lot about the projects I am currently working on (a total of 7 different books), and tried working through some of the problems I've been running in to. The last book I was thinking of--the one I wrote 126,000 words on before quitting--turned out to be the one I pondered most.
I've never liked that I gave up on something I'd spent so much time on. It took me nearly two years to get to its current word count, taking it through five drafts which were each rewritten from scratch. (The curse of the discovery writer.) In total, I probably wrote 210,000 words on this. That's a huge, huge book for you non writers out there. So to my point: I've started to do some triage on this untitled book, and what I'll come away with will, I think, turn out to be a 70,000-80,000 novel about a fifteen-year-old squire caught up in a religious war. I've decided to lose all view points other than Pierre's, and to fix the story so that it is YA sword and sorcery, rather than adult high fantasy.
This book isn't top priority, but after cutting all of Pierre's story out from the main plot line, I have 48,000 words to work with. It will all have to be heavily rewritten, since I've come a long way in the last two years. It 's a solid 3/4 draft, though, and will be fun to flesh out when I'm at a creative impasse on my works in progress.
Just goes to show that a writer should never throw out old material. You never know when something is going to fall into place... or when you're going to have a ridiculous amount of time on your butt in bed with a fever.