I'm working on a massive series (9 books in the first 3 trilogies for the first generation, 3 books in the next generation, 3 in the next). I've wanted to write this series for a decade or more and in fact, I have written this series, multiple times. I did several drafts of the first generation and 2 drafts each of the 2nd and 3rd generations.
Those drafts were painful. I just told the story, I didn't "show" the story (authors out there know exactly what I mean). The story was good, the characters were good, but I didn't know then how to write. Now that I have 25 books under my belt, I'm much better able to do this series justice.There were scenes in all of those drafts that I adored. I mean, they were really good and really showed the characters and their motivations and their personalities.
The problem is the characters have changed since I wrote those drafts. The plot has changed somewhat, the motivations have shifted, and now those scenes just don't work anymore. I found myself trying to use some of it in the first trilogy and it was so freakin' painful.
So I went back, looked through ALL the masses of paper copies, and circled what to keep and tossed the rest. Then I filed them. Then I took all those electronic drafts and I tucked them into one big folder and I filed it on the D drive of my computer (where I never go).
Now I was faced with fresh pages and some of those scenes still stick in my head, but now I can use them as jumping-off places for these "new" characters.
Letting it fall by the wayside was tough, but I had to do it. And someday, when I'm old and gray, maybe I'll dig around in that D drive and have a chuckle reading those old drafts.
(still writing after all these years)