Do you ever revise your old writings?

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Do you ever revise your old writings?

Postby Mikazo » Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:25 am

Story writers: Do you ever go back to your old writings and edit or update them?

Sometimes if I look at stories I've posted, I think of things to add to them, or I may find errors and inconsistencies in them and try to fix them. It feels a little awkward though considering the stories are already posted and are not new.

Do you ever do this, or do you prefer to get it as good as you can the first time around and then leave it alone after posting?

Just asking out of curiosity!
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Re: Do you ever revise your old writings?

Postby Echo » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:38 am

Definitely, I made a SWAT Kats fanfic on deviantart a long time ago and it was horrible. So I updated it and it's a whole lot better now. BroFistIcon
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Re: Do you ever revise your old writings?

Postby QueenSimia » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:33 pm

Only on my original works. I like to go back and recycle/repurpose ideas every so often—two of my recurring OCs evolved over the years that way from an old Jak fan comic. Fanfic, though, I usually only edit while I'm writing, and then once it's posted it's done for good.
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Re: Do you ever revise your old writings?

Postby Ty-Chou » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:05 am

For me, it really depends on the story I'm looking at; how old it is, how good it is, and if there's anything worth salvaging.

For instance, my first Swat Kats fanfics were written in junior high and high school. These were some of the first fanfics and first stories I had ever written. Of course they were terrible because I was still learning. In 2012 when I had a need to write Swat Kats again, the first thing I did was think back on those old stories. There was very little worth salvaging. I had an old OC already, but she was terrible as well. I redesigned a completely different OC and took maybe the barest of bones from her backstory and started all brand new for Masks. Which was a good idea. As a teenager, I had no concept of how characters should act in situations and no world-building skills. To pull from such old, inexperienced writing would have been a bad idea when I have had so many years to improve.

On the other hand, I wrote an Avengers fic back in 2014 and stopped right before the last chapter. Earlier this year, I decided I wanted to see it finished. I had looked through the story and thought most of it was worth salvaging. I took down the chapters from ff.net and edited them and reuploaded. Some chapters had minor editing, some had additional or extended scenes. One chapter was about 90% rewritten and was MUCH longer than the original.

I just finished it a couple of weeks ago and I am much happier with the final product. It was a lot of fun and it actually invigorated my writing mojo. I'm very glad I embarked upon that project. However, as a writer, I generally like to look forward. I have more story ideas in me than I will probably be able to write in my lifetime. I need to keep moving forward instead of constantly fiddling with something that's already done. Even old ideas that I'm sitting on, I'm always asking myself if it's still a good idea, should I still hold onto this one.

But it's really all up to you as the writer to choose. If it seems fun, if it makes you excited, go work on an old project and fix it up. Or work on a new one. As long as you are writing and enjoying your writing, I say do what you like. BroFistIcon
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Re: Do you ever revise your old writings?

Postby Kooshmeister » Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:34 pm

Frequently. Before learning the main Enforcer sergeant's name, I called him Brady in my fanfics. Upon learning he's called Talon, I changed all my stories to reflect this. I'm also bad about going back and adding new ideas to old fan scripts, especially my old fan rewrite of The Giant Bacteria.
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Re: Do you ever revise your old writings?

Postby Leon Mane » Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:35 pm

Every so often when the itch to write hits me, I'll go over old chapters to refresh my understanding of where I was going, and once in a while I'll just redo entire sections because I didn't like how it was pushing in a certain direction.

Example, my Digimon fic, I got a bit over twenty chapters posted, and from there, I've rewritten dozens more, and changed entire plotlines because I kept hitting walls and realized I wasn't doing certain characters the way I felt they should have been. The current incarnations are easier to relate to, and a big reveal, while fairly obvious to the reader, gets decent foreshadowing, while also being vague enough to the characters that it's understandable why most of them don't pick up on it right away. I'm currently at revision 4 on it, but haven't posted in a few years. Doesn't help that my laptop now refuses to upload or download anything bigger than 15 megabytes without 'down/upload was interrupted' appearing. Before anyone asks, it's probably five or six years old, maybe older, and I figure I might get a new one around Christmas.

Other example, my SWAT Kats fic is currently being entirely redone. Full reboot. I read the original one day and thought 'What was my plan here?'. I can't think of the eventual ending, or I get bored and just abandon a story, so the whole story is as much a mystery to me as it is to any reader.

Small rewrites and minor word checks, though, I'm always trying to catch little errors. I'm great for big mistakes, catching them early, but it's the little ones that slip by, and once in a while I find sentences that can be trimmed down a little.

I also have this thing where I need every chapter's word count the to end in a 5 or a 0, and your guess is as good as mine why that is, but until that last word makes the counter reach either number, it isn't complete. However, this doesn't count my disclaimer at the start, which I add just before posting. If that does meet the normal requirement, cool, but if not, no big deal.
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Re: Do you ever revise your old writings?

Postby Mikazo » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:19 pm

By the way, you all should share links to your pages, or to some of the stories you've written that you particularly like.
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Re: Do you ever revise your old writings?

Postby Kooshmeister » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:24 pm

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Re: Do you ever revise your old writings?

Postby Mikazo » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:06 pm

Kooshmeister wrote:I'm also bad about going back and adding new ideas to old fan scripts, especially my old fan rewrite of The Giant Bacteria.


Yeah, that's probably pretty close to my MO.

Leon Mane wrote:I also have this thing where I need every chapter's word count the to end in a 5 or a 0, and your guess is as good as mine why that is, but until that last word makes the counter reach either number, it isn't complete. However, this doesn't count my disclaimer at the start, which I add just before posting. If that does meet the normal requirement, cool, but if not, no big deal.


Oh my goodness. I wrote a poem one time where I took care (well, some care anyway) to make the lines rhyme and give them a rhythm. Adding that requirement on top of it would have made it very difficult!
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Re: Do you ever revise your old writings?

Postby Leon Mane » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:19 am

The number of times I've ended up spending twenty to thirty minutes adding or removing lines, descriptions, or just trying to finagle something, I could have written at least a few sections to a new chapter. I'm not joking. Another odd thing I consider a requirement, I will not, WILL NOT, consider a chapter to be any less than three thousand words. Thirty two hundred and up is preferable, but if I feel a natural end point at just over three thousand, I'm willing to call it done.

Pretty much all of my work is on fanfiction.net, under the pen name Lord Genesis Shadow. Minor warning, most of it is rated M for adult themes, and occasional violence. I also haven't updated in a few years, but I might change that soon, if my laptop allows me to do so. If anyone reads, please review with any advice or critiques. Most reviews are the standard "good work, keep it up" types. While welcome, I'd like to know where I can improve.
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