An unpublished novel of mine has been lurking in my office for the past five years. I feel like I have a corpse in the cabinet. I finally realized I had to either deal with it or bury the damn thing. I've decided to deal with it.
It's got a great plot but I could never get the characters right, never find the right tone for it. But now - (I say with fingers and toes crossed) - I think I'm on the right track. Though a number of people liked the manuscript five years ago and my agent even sent it out, I'm here to tell you it's over written, slow, and edges toward a certain goopiness. I've turned it into first person, present tense, which always speeds things up, and I'm also taking my own advice and cutting every single adjective and adverb that I can find. I'm cutting it down to the bone, but at the same time adding information and detail.
I'd forgotten the fun of living in a parallel universe, i.e. writing fiction. When I wake up at 3:00 am now I can go into my character's world. Deal with their problems and not my own. And I'm giving them many more problems, no longer protecting them. Wish me luck and stay tuned.
And if you have a manuscript corpse of your own, get it out and take another look at it.