I got to show the first chapters of my novel to 21 different readers at the Big Sur Writer's Conference. I heard a lot about what didn't work. I had to face what was not coming across, mainly who was not coming across. There were dissenting views too. People who might have really thought that a narrator was clever (that's why I like her too) but she wasn't working as she stood. They agreed the ideas were clever but I wasn't creating the "dream."
Find a thing that you love in your project, certain wording, an image, and idea, a character and then set it free. Send it out on the wind like broadcasting seeds on the prairie. If it really was yours, if it really was beautiful, it will bloom in another way, maybe even in greater number. This is a hard one.