I got two years into the novel and got completely stymied and felt like it was an utter flop. I wanted to put it aside but my wife talked me out of it. She said she cared too much about these characters and wanted to find out what became of them. I had to start all over again, keeping the characters but reinventing the story completely and leaving behind almost every element with the exception of the birth that goes wrong – that was the only significant element that I preserved.
You've had this experience before… It happens with every book now, I hate to say. I abandoned my second novel completely. Writing Kavalier & Clay, I had several moments of utter collapse. Same with The Yiddish Policemen's Union. I'm obviously just not very good at this. Michael Chabon in conversation with The Guardian