I had written 14 chapters of The One About the War (aka the Grandfather's Axe of a Novel). I'd had chapter 1 critiqued at a workshop at Eastercon a few years ago, which led to me putting that novel aside as probably unpublishable, due to the story not being all that original. (Guy from our world falls into fantasyland. There is a war. Guy helps win war. Guy stages military coup and takes over the country.) OK, that last part isn't quite the usual, but Juliet McKenna pointed out that it just wouldn't stand out in the slush pile.
Realising she was right, I put it away in a virtual drawer (ie folder on my hard drive) and promoted Moving a Mountain to WIP.
Moving a Mountain is no longer a WIP but a WIS (which reminds me, I need to find another publisher to send it to this week). Revealing Secrets is coming together, but I thought it might be fun to finish The One About the War (now re-titled A Necessary Evil while I'm writing first draft on RS.
And that was when I realised that something horrible had happened to it while it had been sitting on my hard drive. Someone had taken my beautiful prose and padded it with crap! Boggarts! It has to be boggarts.
Or perhaps I really have got that much better while writing Moving a Mountain?
Gah! How could I ever have thought this was any good? How could I have shown it to people? *Cringe*
Anyway, it's proving excellent practice at cutting. I reduced Chapter 1 by 34%. It looks like Chapter 2 will shrink down by about the same amount. But it's nice to be back with these guys again. I've missed them. Even if I do have to kill some of them horribly later on in the story.