This is the manuscript (untouched since I got it back from Deseret Book and Covenant and Cedar Fort... see, the rubber band's still around it) I set aside about five years ago. It is titled Butterfly Years.
I wrote Lightning Tree right after that, and learned about how plots are important. But Jeffrey actually really loved this manuscript. It's probably his favorite.
I have a plan in my mind of what to write. I decided, three Chabert novels. But also rewrite all the manuscripts I'd already written, now that I know how to write. Zoommates, a novel about BYU and a group of roommates, became Mile 21, in a very, very loose sense. By Rewrite, I mean, change the story, change the characters, and retain a small piece of the original concept.
With Butterfly Years, I have changed the main character's gender, personality, situation and motive. I retained one character, with some minor adjustments, and completely revamped the plot and storyline, but not the trajectory.
This story required a whole lot of research. I had to re-do a majority of it, but I've gotten to a point in the story where I can re-use a lot. And it is a blessing. I pulled out the old manuscript this morning. ANd I realized, I really, really love this story. I loved it in its original form, too.
There's the old and the new.
Writing really is a wonderful journey.