Have you ever tried to write something you’ve already written?
It’s both incredibly easy, and excruciatingly difficult.
Because the whole purpose of writing it again is writing it different. Writing it better. Putting in details that were only hinted at before. Ignoring entire characters because their roles have changed, or because they no longer exist. Introducing characters that were nameless and faceless before. Showing, where you were telling, and telling where you were showing.
You need to turn the story on its head sometimes to see where it doesn’t work.
And sometimes, you know what is supposed to happen in a scene, but you can’t get the words out.
Because you already wrote it.
But the first time you wrote it, the story was something else entirely. It was simpler. Things were black and white. You didn’t know the fates of the characters any more than they did.
But now you know.
And you have to go back to the beginning and act like nothing is wrong.
I admit it: I get overly attached to my own characters. I’ve known some of them much longer than I’ve known some of my closest friends. When I first learned that one of them was going to suffer a terrible fate, I moped around the house for about a week, before I figured out a way to save him. Only to subject him to a far worse fate that I refused to put on paper for years. When I finally did write it down the few friends who read it either refused to talk to me for a couple days or threw things at me. So I guess you could say that emotional climax was a success.
(Sorry again, guys. You know who you are.)
Now I’m back at the beginning of the story, before all the love, laughter, pain, and heartbreak forges these characters into the people I’ve known for so long. And it’s like I’m reliving it all. And I want nothing more than to change it, to make some of the pain go away.
But I can’t.
Because it’s already happened.
All I can do, really, is make the story almost as real to future readers as it has been to me.