Finally, I picked up the never ending story (my fantasy novel Earthwitch, which I have been writing sporadically for the last two years). It's been almost-complete, in first draft form, for some time. One of the things I thought I'd have time to do when I started my MA was go through the story so far and edit it. As usual, things didn't turn out quite the way I'd planned.
So yesterday I started reading, editing pen in hand. It hit me then. All the things we've been looking at this term fell into place; I could see exactly what needed cutting or improving, where I'd repeated myself or had slipped into cliches.
I'm still working on it. Perhaps the distance also helped; I was able to look at it objectively. All of chapter 2 has gone, and elsewhere whole scenes have been deleted. It's a liberating feeling. I have to strip it back before I can build it up again. Just because I like a particular scene is not a good enough reason to keep it in.
The good thing is that the structure seems to be pretty much there. I compared it to The Hero's Journey, and it it's not too far off.
Looking at Earthwitch again has also helped me decide that I'm probably not going to use it for my MA. I'm going to try and get a second draft up together over Christmas, but I want to start something fresh for next term. Now I've just got to decide what.