Sea King, it's only failure if you give up on the story and throw it away. Rewrites, even full sized ones, are merely part of the process of development. As KennyC mentioned, some writers have to explore the story first before deciding if the route chosen is the right one. Not everyone can just crunch the entire story ahead of time. I usually work with a rough plot throughout the development and try different outcomes until I get one I like. Hence the fact that I sometimes have to rip a story down to its core and start over.
Ironically enough, I'm glad I've done that on a few books. The resulting final version has been far superior to the one that got scrapped. So there's really nothing with burning down a story and starting from scratching using the same core plot if it produces a better quality work in the end.
- Steve Lake
Author: Earthfleet Saga, Land of the Lions, and The Dreamland Articles