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R.J.

Rewriting Old Stories

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Me: *nervously looking at the date of the last topic in this forum*

So, I'm not sure if anyone still remembers me¬†ūü§£¬†The last story I wrote for AD (or anyone, including myself)¬†was a short story,¬†Having Put in Time,¬†for Midnight Dude. I wrote this 10 years ago, 2011, if I'm not mistaken. Since then, all I've written were a few flash fiction here and there and a series of beginnings with no ends, or climaxes for that matter. Because, well, life.

I have recently been scanning my surviving old works here at AD (Thanks, Mike!), a majority of which I wrote when I was 18-19 yrs old, and shit, I couldn't help cringing. I want to rewrite them so bad! But then, I remember the emails I got back then, of readers enjoying my work, and I can't help wondering if my past works are really just fine the way they are or do I need to make my present self happy about them.

So, any thoughts?

 

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Yo, Rad! Dude! It's been a long time...

As far as re-writing goes I'd say yes, go for it (I say that because I'm doing the same). That doesn't mean what you've already written is bad, but you're older, wiser, and can probably improve them.

Or... better still, write something new and fresh!

It's good to see you back!

 

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Hi, Camy! ūüėĄ

And it's good to be back! I really missed this place.

And yep, I'm actually in the middle of something new. I was just scanning my stuff and couldn't help the cringe especially at my earliest ones hahaha

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I think reexamining and perhaps rewriting early work is good for the soul. ¬†Cleans up those nasty unseen errors and hastily-sought expressions. However, changing the outcome of a story is perhaps a job for a sequel, rather than a ‚Äėdo over‚Äô.¬† After all, once a writer has put a story out there, it truly has a life of its own. No small thing.

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40 minutes ago, Merkin said:

I think reexamining and perhaps rewriting early work is good for the soul. ¬†Cleans up those nasty unseen errors and hastily-sought expressions. However, changing the outcome of a story is perhaps a job for a sequel, rather than a ‚Äėdo over‚Äô.¬† After all, once a writer has put a story out there, it truly has a life of its own. No small thing.

 

 

I agree, James. If I would rewrite my early works, I was thinking it would mostly be in rewording and fleshing out the thoughts and feelings and details while keeping plots intact‚ÄĒsort of, I guess, dressing it up better.

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RJ,  We have a new feature at AD.  The Recycled Story using a little recycle icon.  

While it is primarily for serial stories, we can also apply it for those authors who want to update or freshen Short Stories as well.   Also using it for excellent stories who are no longer writing or with us.

Just let me know and I can considering scheduling a recycle.

Mike

 

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8 hours ago, dude said:

RJ,  We have a new feature at AD.  The Recycled Story using a little recycle icon.  

While it is primarily for serial stories, we can also apply it for those authors who want to update or freshen Short Stories as well.   Also using it for excellent stories who are no longer writing or with us.

Just let me know and I can considering scheduling a recycle.

Mike

 

that's great to know, Mike! i think i'm going to be taking advantage of that in the coming months. thanks!

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As a member of the peanut gallery, I would encourage you to give this project a try.  If Mike posts links to your revised stories on the AD home page, that will bring them to the attention of a whole new audience.  I would expect very few people to stumble across revised editions that are simply hiding as links on your author page.

As to changing the outcome:  I agree with the precept of not changing the outcome if you are portraying the revised story as an updated, cleaned-up version of the old story.  If the outcome needs to change, I would suggest leaving the old story where it is and publishing a new story under a (slightly) different title, and perhaps even including an introductory note in the new piece giving homage to the old version.  My romantic side also requests that you do not change happy endings to tragic endings unless the compulsion is great. 

Best of luck with your journey.

R

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1 hour ago, Rutabaga said:

My romantic side also requests that you do not change happy endings to tragic endings unless the compulsion is great. 

And my romantic side agrees ūüėĀ¬†

There was a phase in Asian gay fiction (in web literature or movies) when every story did not have a happy ending, and while I could relate, I absolutely hated it. I'm just glad that phase is over now.

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I can see where you are going with this idea (re-freshing older stories), but I would counsel you to exercise caution.  Don't be like a certain well-known movie director who tries to re-write a famous science-fiction movie series every few years when he re-releases the films onto yet another format.  Leave the story alone, but feel free to clean up the mistakes and poorly-worded passages.

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