I've hit a couple of chapters where editing has become a strange variant of trial and error. This consists of me re-writing the chapter one night, re-reading it the next night, seeing what worked/didn't, re-writing accordingly, letting it sit twenty four hours, then doing the process again. And again. I've done this for a week now. Same two chapters, re-writing and re-writing, waiting for the right combo to click. It hasn't yet, but last night it got much closer. (and I LOVE my daily draft files. I can go back to any of the drafts and see what I've changed from day to day.)
I actually like the first draft version the best but, for various reasons, it ultimately doesn't work. But replacing it just-so, is turning into a lengthy and frustrating endeavor. Sure, what it boils down to is I don't know what I'm doing yet in this chapter. As author, I simply know too much. I know where it all goes, who's planning what, and I've lost the ability to see only through the limited character's eyes. There's things I WANT to say, but they're not necessarily things the characters have figured out yet. I need to forget what I know. Forget the story's outcome. Forget it all, and write from ignorance. I'd really like to set the whole thing aside for a month at this point, let it all get muddy again, and then approach it fresh. I need objective distance, but I don't have that luxury, so I'll just keep on with the trial and error re-writes for now, pick one that gets the closest. It can all be re-written later if it doesn't work.
To gain space, I've been working on a fanfic story instead. Entirely refreshing writing NEW words, not editing old. It does pay to have multiple projects sitting around.