Anyway, I found a whole scene of which I can use entire chunks of stuff, as long as I... well, rewrite it in entirely different words. Because four years is a goddamned long time in writer-years. And I used to do things like peppering every sentence with a zillion prepositions, because it was the only way I knew how to handle line of direction, and explaining the character motivation in embarassing repetitive detail.
"I struggled up onto my knees."
"She shoved herself up."
"He let me live," I said into the night. "Mingan the Grey Wolf permitted me to live." What horrors had he seen in me, to call me sister in a tone other than mocking, to kiss my face with a kiss that did no murder? Tarnished, he called to the darkness in me and it answered.
It is not so easy to slay a sister. Even for a warrior. Even for the fallen.
"And next time, perhaps he'll convince me to aid him after all."
I felt his exasperation as my own. Ride, he commanded. I walked to his side.
"He let me live," she said. "He called me sister."
It implied more than she could bear. A coward--she would accept that judgement. But she was not a monster.
The stallion's exasperation prickled as if it were her own. Ride.
Of course, if I were actually writing this as a new novel, previously unwritten, I could make it better. But I still like the world and the characters enough to try and save it. Even if it will always carry some of the traces of the apprentice I was when I made it.
Once the alloy's made, you can pound the cup into a new shape, but you can't get the tin back out of the silver.