Recently, I pulled my first complete manuscript out of mothballs. The last edit date on this MS was March/April of 2003. I wanted to submit it to my publisher, but I knew it needed a lot of editing before I could do that. I finished that edit this afternoon, three weeks and 97,000 words later.
It's amazing what time can do for a person's perspective. I was so in love with my words when I wrote that story. To the point where I would state the same thing several different times because I thought my text was just too clever. This time around, I'm deleting stuff left and right without giving them another thought.
I also didn't give my readers enough credit. I'd explain every move a character made, instead of trusting the reader to figure it out, a common newbie mistake (not that I don't still make them, but they're not as blatant).
Yet, this MS will always hold a special place in my heart. At one time, I'd poured myself into this story so deeply that I felt what the characters felt. As I was editing the last few chapters, I found myself tearing up. I'm not sure that the writing was that good, but I loved these characters with all their emotional hangups and vulnerabilities.
This was the story that gave me the confidence to pursue writing on a more professional level, rather than dabble in it for pure entertainment and/or as a hobby.
Now that I'm done, I know I need to get on with my WIP, which is 3/4 done, and by far the best thing I've written to date. Yet, I'm sad to say goodbye to these characters because they are so near and dear to me.
This particular story may never see the light of day, but it will always hold a special place in my heart.