Sometimes these decisions are small: Would I have beat all this traffic if I would have just left the house a few minutes earlier?
Others are large: Would we have enough for a down payment on a house now if we'd started saving earlier?
My characters make decisions, too, large and small, that have an effect on the outcome of the story. During this re-write, I'm trying to make my characters take a more active role in the plot. Because it's a time-travel story, it's as if they are creating an alternate history, erasing what used to be, and changing the space-time continuum. Yes, I am a dork. Do I need Doc Brown and a chalkboard timeline to demonstrate? ;)
It's all so clear now!
So, while you might think that rewriting from scratch is time-consuming, I'm actually finding it quite liberating to begin again, to simplify my plot-lines, eliminate the superfluous and focus on things like mood and tone and character development.
Even though I'm the one rewriting my novel, with the nature of the story it feels like my characters are the ones making all the changes, taking their destinies (or densities, whichever) into their own hands. Pretty deep, eh? So I'll leave you with a quote I think about sums up the way I'm approaching the rewrite. And life in general.
What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now.” – Unknown
Anyone else out there in revision hell? I'm making daiquiries!