In Which I Compare My Novel to a Squirrel

I've been struggling with the second draft of The Novel for months. I was down to the last eight chapters and something kept niggling at me. Even with the changes, the story wasn't sitting right with me and for the life of me, I could not figure out why. I grew increasingly frustrated. Every time I opened Scrivener, it felt like an exercise in futility. I spent less and less of my writing time working on The Novel until I was avoiding it completely.

Then, about a month ago, while I was packing for my Wales trip, I had an epiphany. It finally hit me what was wrong with the manuscript, which gave me a way to fix it. The problem was, I was boarding a plane in short order and didn't have time to put that epiphany into action.

I've been home two weeks, and that epiphany has not left me. I spent last weekend scribbling ideas and even hand-wrote four pages of a new chapter. I think, maybe, I'm finally on the right track with this story.

Then tonight I opened Scrivener to remove the chapters that aren't working.

And I froze.

A panic seized me. It felt as if I'm doing harm to a living thing. It felt the way it did when I accidentally ran over a squirrel with my car. I do not like this feeling.

Still, I know this is the right thing to do. So I sit here with my thumb poised on my laptop trackpad, trying to summon the courage to click the chapters away. . . .