So… wow! Sounds like you’ve been through a lot! 😛 My sympathies offered… with a cup of tea *hands some over* 😉
So one of the things that sticks out to me first is the motive behind what the character’s do. You didn’t say what it is:
“They are going down deep within a mountain to face a couple of things that I don’t want to reveal just yet because it would involve a lot of explanation.”
And that makes sense… I wouldn’t waste too much of my time trying to explain my character’s motives too. It just it sounds like the characters go through a lot and they’ll need enough strong personal reasons to push them through it.
Also you mentioned something about over-dramatic dangerous circumstances… something that comes to mind is a saying that my debate coach says at least once every week: “If you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing.” What does that have to do with this? Well, it’s hard to give advice when only given descriptions, but maybe a problem is that, the danger has no arch to it… maybe you’re making every moment overly dangerous which makes nothing dangerous. Maybe the danger is too constant and overdone… and thus melodramatic and unrealistic?
I don’t know… maybe that’s not the problem. It’s hard to tell without an example.
General advice for editing though… I find it extremely helpful to print a couple of my pages out – I catch so many more typos that way – and then also read it aloud to hear how it flows and sounds.
“Does anybody have any ideas that I could use, like ways to tear it apart in an organized way, or just odd inspiration, personal experience, etc?”
I’d suggest, just take a deep breath and don’t get overwhelmed. 🙂
I re-wrote a book of mine recently. I started it three or so years ago, and honestly, one thing that I did that seemed to help was just start from the beginning, pretend that it was someone else’s book, and use Google Drive’s suggestion mode to go through and edit it. I don’t know if that would be an approach that would help you.
Also when I’m trying to brainstorm, just ranting aloud at someone helps so much. xD
Honestly, I’m not sure if any of this helps… it’s really hard to get the big picture of where you are with this project in just a couple paragraphs or what exactly you are looking for. Well, at least you have a cup of tea now! …though after this long message it is probably cold. 😛
*hands you a new cup*
There you go! 🙂
(P.S. Tell a sibling I demand them to give you a real cup of tea!!)