Shadow of Blood is a novel I started in 2005 that I dropped midpregnancy (and alas, mid-novel). It only needs another 40k until it’s a good length for a first draft, so it’s a good project to start with, as I haven’t written novel length fiction in a few years.
I started reading this with horror, unable to believe the content and the quality of the writing, which speaks of how far I’ve progressed in these years. I also learned as I’m reading the halfway point in the existing story, that I can probably just chop off the first half of it. The story picks up, and I’m in love with it again. My two main characters are showing their true colors (to each other, not to everyone else!) and I’m seeing a lot of places where cutting characters or at least making their roles more vital (every character has to matter in some way, and carry their own weight). This is good.
I’ve even got my Sentence for the story:
After the senseless death of his brother, a despondant slave and his rebellious mistress conspire to end one hundred years of oppression by learning and using the forbidden art of magic.