Since finishing the final edits for Legends, I was inspired to start working on Bloodline III: Broken. I've read through it over the past few days, and have had one harsh realization: it needs a lot of work. A lot. Of course, this didn't come as too much of a shock. When I orginally wrote the manuscript, way back when I had zero intention of ever publishing the Bloodline series, it started out as a trilogy. The third book, which didn't have a title until a few months ago, was intended to be the final book in the series. I had it all finished, and then moved onto another project. Until this nagging voice in the back of my mind compelled me to add not only a fourth, but a fifth book to the series. But because the story had been wrapped up, it meant deleting half of book 3 and rewriting. Which leaves me the somewhat non-cohesive jumble of words that I'm dealing with today.
As a writer, I know how precious words are. I realize how it's easy to believe that each and every one is important and carries an unparalleled weight. But the ability to delete a word here or there, or in some cases, half of a manuscript, shows maturity. Yes, you've worked hard to get where you are, but that doesn't mean a better story won't come out of it.
The task of rewriting can be very daunting. Here's my systematic approach: make a list, mental or otherwise, of major plot holes that need to be fixed. Start with what you consider the easiest—sometimes just a few sentences can change the entire feel of the story. Then move on to the next easiest. Tackling one issue at a time will make the process seem less monsterous and more managable. Don't allow yourself to think in terms of "I can't do this," but rather "I will do this." When you love writing [or painting, or music, or whatever] as much as I do, the only option is to push yourself forward and create the best piece of art that you possibly can.