Don't Trash It!
Two of my published manuscripts changed markedly during the editing process, when words like 'I don't think you need this chapter'. and 'Start the story further in'. had me cringing.
Not because I believed my prose to be remarkable and needed sharing with the world [as if!] but because I had spent hours, days, weeks sometimes researching the historical aspects - from what play was being performed in the theatre in the town where my characters stayed, to what a fashionable lady wore to socialise that year.
Cut the chapters I did, but at the same time shed a silent tear for all that lost work. At the time I doubted I would write a similar book, so imagined this research would be consigned to oblivion - like all those misplaced modifiers that keep tripping me up.
Not so - I began putting together the structure for another story this weekend and those files fit my storyboard perfectly. It's made that first blank page look so much more inviting and I was able to compose six thousand words in the first sitting - not perfect ones, but hey, word count is wordcount.
So don't ditch that chapter you thought you couldn't use - one day it will jump out at you and you'll re-work into a better crafted, more fascinating work.
Now what else is sitting in this trash can on my desktop.....