A friend of mine recently read a wonderful short story at a writer’s group. First, without exception, the group loved the story. Then, doing their job, the group made suggestions – some I agreed with, some I didn’t. But, that is the process of writer’s groups.
A few days later, I received the updated version, including most of the changes suggested by the group’s comments. To be honest, I liked the original better. Without a doubt, there were areas that improved. But I feel (And, who the heck am I?) that s/he made too many changes merely because they were suggested.
When I asked to see the original, I was told that it no longer existed. It no longer exists! Oh, no! How can the original no longer exist?
I cannot emphasize this enough: Keep all your revisions and the original. At least until there is a final disposition of your manuscript. Even then, why would you discard them? You never know when or why you may want to revisit an earlier version..
Please, I beg you, keep all your revisions. You never know.