I have had a project for five years called Boy and Fox. It is about a boy stripped of memories and a trickster fox called Reynard and a girl named Bess who is perhaps a wolf and always more than she appears. And there are ogres who eat the fox, because what else should happen to your spirit guide?There are finished drafts that did not work. There are many, many half-finished drafts.
The first 10 pages work. The rest always falls apart once the plot rears up to interfere with the story. The plot has changed a lot over those five years, from the world Boy wanders being his own mind and him being in a coma to it being another world with him having been forced into being the heir to a throne.
And for some reason my brain circled back to it over my first cup of coffee this morning. And went: what if? What if I took the story and put it in the real world? Boy wanders out of the wasting and the woods with Mr. Fox into the real world, his head as empty as his heart is full, and has to try and navigate the edges of his own loss -- to find out what was lost, and perhaps why -- and stumble a path toward the person he was.
If he wants to be them, of course. Because in most iterations of the tale, Boy was not a nice person. Or, more accurately, a nice person who was easily led to doing evil things ....