I'm hoping some of you have been through this situation and can offer suggestions. I'm getting very frustrated indeed. I wrote a LONG novel several years ago, put it through a short edit just afterwards, tinkered with words, bla de bla. This didn't really work as an edit, so I put it away for several years, in order to achieve distance. I didn't write any other fiction during that period. I've spent the past 6 months doing a fierce edit of the novel, and I've dumped (painlessly, for the most part) more than a third of the original book. I've done most of this by tightening up, dumping repetitive dialogue, toning down the melodrama, cutting scenes that didn't really funnel toward the conclusion. I feel the result is MUCH improved (so do my beta readers) and I've learned a lot. My problem? Now I can't get OUT of edit mode. I've started writing a second novel, and the sparkle is gone, even though I know I've got good story potential. I find myself 'editing' every sentence in my head, writing everything in the most economical fashion possible. The result so far? Several chapters of flat, dull, clinically correct but unemotional prose. I hate it! I want to get back to writing lush, overblown melodramatic, overstated garbage (!)—if that makes sense—and having fun doing it. Now that I know how to edit, I know I can prune away the excess once I've finished. So why am I feeling so uptight? I need to get that disorganised sparkle back, or my new story just isn't going to work. Has anybody got advice as to how to get OUT of edit mode?