Wednesday, 1 March 2017

IWSG March 2017

Time once again for the monthly meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, where we can share our doubts and fears over all things writing, now including a regular talking point. Hosted as ever by Alex J. Cavanaugh, today's co-hosts are Tamara NarayanPatsy CollinsM.J. Fifield and Nicohle Christopherson. Give them a visit!


Today's question is: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

My current insecurity was pretty much covered in my last post, where I worried whether I should be writing every day, as is so often recommended; I have to say, I felt reassured by many of your comments along the lines of making forward progress is the thing that matters, and I definitely feel like that's happening. Thanks!

So, let's have a look at this month's question...

I have to say, I can't think of any particular time when I've done this. I'm always looking for the next thing, the shiny new idea, and I don't want to take a step back. Sure, I might have a look at older stories, smile at how I've changed since writing them and then put them back in their box (or computer folder). But this question has given me pause for thought, particularly as regards those stories from my pre-blogging days. With the plethora of tips and wisdom I've picked up since being part of the community, there are probably things I could do with these stories that I would never have thought of at the time. If I do decide to embark on such an adventure, the results would doubtless be interesting, and I'd be sure to let you know how it all went!

Check out the other IWSG participants here.

29 comments:

dolorah said...

Its not easy to just keep moving forward without revisiting those abandoned ideas. Some people can though. Not a bad thing. You probably integrate those ideas very well into current works.

Hope all is going well in your world Nick.

Sarah Foster said...

I think sometimes it's just not the right time to finish the story. As we keep writing we keep improving and hopefully we can go back and see how to make those stories better. But if it's not meant to be, we can always write something new!

The Cynical Sailor said...

I thought this month's question was really interesting as I'm too new to the whole writing thing to have any old manuscripts lying around. I'm really interested to see more experienced writers' take on the question. Like you, I imagine I would always be looking for the next bright, shiny new idea.

JeffO said...

The first manuscript that I write seriously, all the way through, with the idea of publishing tickles at the back of my mind on occasion. It is now at least three years since I've even looked at it, but every once in a while I think, "Maybe...?" As you say, however, I want to move forward, and I'm not sure that would be moving forward.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I rewrote my thirty year old story and it worked out. Sometimes the ideas are so old, reworking them is fresh again.

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great you have so many new ideas. Once I write something, I have a hard time letting go of it.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Sometimes my ideas and my skill level aren't always on the same page - ha! get it?! - but that's why I keep trying to grow and improve in the craft, so I can tell those stories the way they want to be told.

betty said...

I would imagine one can look at something they wrote from the past and try to see if they could spruce it up a bit, but sometimes leaving things in the past is a good thing to do too.

betty

Karen Walker said...

You know, if the projects you're working on are, well, working for you, why go back? Seems to me, I would only look at older stuff if I were stuck for something to write. And that's certainly not you, Nick.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - certainly we can be more creative with our 'old stories' ... and we, as you say, know more not ... and understand what we can and can't do - glad you're rethinking those stories ... good luck - and see them later! Cheers Hilary

Maria Perry Mohan said...

Hi, Nick. I believe many writers do rework stuff as a matter of course. I have a load of old blog posts in a now closed down blog. I'm planning to edit them and turn them into an ebook.

Christine Rains said...

I do have a bunch of manuscripts scattered about, but there are too many new ideas demanding attention! Good luck with your writing. :)

Patricia Lynne said...

Moving forward with new ideas is why I haven't really reworked many of my older stories. Shiny new ideas are just too distracting.

Crystal Collier said...

You know, when I was writing for a flash fiction blog with regular deadlines, I thought I would delve into my old ideas folder a great deal more than I did. Actually, only one of the 12 pieces I shared ended up coming from the archives. Crazy, eh? So forward and onward is definitely a good thing.

Patsy said...

It is interesting to look back and see how we'd do things differently if we tackled the story now we've improved as writers. I find it reassuring.

Jennifer Hawes said...

I'm easily distracted by the next new, shiny idea too. In fact, I'm torn between reworking an old project or going forward with a new one. UGH!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm sure you could do something wonderful now with one of those older ideas.

S.P. Bowers said...

It's not bad to keep moving forward. IN fact, I think the only way to make working on an old story worthwhile and profitable is to do it in a way you keep moving forward. Which generally means pulling it apart and starting all over again.

Stephen Tremp said...

Nick you could try a series of short stories and publish that.

Liz A. said...

As you grow as a writer, you may find that older stories take on new life. I'd be interested to see what you end up doing.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I like your answer. Any of my old stuff would be so bad it couldn't be saved except for a general plot line.

Jamie Ayres said...

Good luck on deciding what to do . . . I'm always going back and forth on if I should write another book or not.

Mark Noce said...

I think it's good to look for the next new shiny idea. It makes the entire writing experience more fun:)

Cathy Keaton said...

I usually move forward to the next idea, but if you had a really good idea for a story, I think revising/rewriting it is a great idea. Sometimes we just couldn't write that story the best way back then because we needed more experience and practice.

Liza said...

Forward is a good thing. Keep going! If you take a look at your old pieces, it will be with a more experienced eye, which means you will still be moving forward.

Cherie Reich said...

It can be fun to chase those shiny new ideas. Looking at old work can teach us a lot about who we are as a writer now, though. :)

Jean Davis said...

I admire your ability to keep moving forward and not look back. Half of my writing energy seems wrapped up in contemplating how to make older projects work better. :)

Cynthia said...

I've only really looked back at one story, the others I'm fine with letting go for the time being. I'm glad that you can smile when you review your old work and see how far you've come. It is a good feeling to recognize areas in which we have grown.

Elizabeth said...

That is a good point. Joining the blogging community has opened my eyes to so much knowledge and advice. Since joining, I have come across many of my old ideas that have potential to become interesting stories.