Old 05-22-2017, 06:57 PM   #1
Kantarii
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Memory Lane

I'm nearing the end of one of my storylines I started almost a year ago. I'm eager to finisish it and begin something new, but I don't want to rush the ending, opting for a quality ending to my beloved storyline with characters that I've become attached to.

Letting go isn't the issue here. What's important is putting a quality finish to the storyline. So, I decided to take a small break before I begin work on the last two chapters. In my "break", I decided to go back and revisit my earlier chapters of the storyline.

Jesus H Christ! I can't believe how much my writing style has changed over the course of just one year. Naturally, I compared my older writing to my newer style and found myself using my "break" to reedit and update 3-4 of my earlier chapters in my storyline. Yes, there was an exponential amount of material that needed to be revised, reedited, updated, and even resubmitted!

I'm not ashamed of my older writing, but now that I have matured a little as a writer, I feel like I can tell the story in a better way.

So the question is - Am I the only one that feels the need to update earlier chapters to reflect a more mature writing style? If so, is it just a waste of time getting caught up in the vicious cycle of updating and revising older chapters?
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:33 PM   #2
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I started writing Unlikely Angels in 2010--more than five years before signing on with Lit. When I reread the early chapters I see obvious changes from what I'm writing now.

I doubt readers would really notice--it's mostly a change of emphasis. I see the old style as being good in some ways, so I have no desire to rewrite the early chapters. Instead I revisit the old stuff to remind myself of the good things I did then that aren't as strong in my writing now.
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Old 05-22-2017, 07:36 PM   #3
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Interesting timing.

For whatever reason I went back and read a couple of chapters of SWB from 2011.

I had to make myself get up and move away from it when I caught myself looking for the original word docs and wanting to edit the shit out of it.

Some day I'd love to work it over with everything I've learned the last few years, but the entire series is 900k....

Talking about a retirement project there....
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kantarii View Post
So the question is - Am I the only one that feels the need to update earlier chapters to reflect a more mature writing style? If so, is it just a waste of time getting caught up in the vicious cycle of updating and revising older chapters?
I'm right there with you. I look at stories I wrote in 2015 when I first started here (and when I first really tried writing seriously) and I totally have to rewrite them completely. It's been a great learning curve though and I've got so much out of the last two years in terms of writing experience. I look at those 2015 stories and there's just a huge difference between then and now.

A vicious cycle? I think it depends on what you're trying to do. If it's posting on LIT, I wouldn't be concerned at all, I'd invest the time in something new. If you intended to take it and maybe self-publish or something, that's where I'd invest the effort if it was me. I have some of my stories I plan to do that with and I'm reworking the whole plot and storyline now with the intention of rewriting from scratch. I love the main character and her story and I don't want to waste her at all.
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:17 PM   #5
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My first stories I ever wrote were just the beginnings of 4 stories written down in a notebook. I cringe slightly when I go back and read them!

One I have since typed up, fixed, changed a bit. Of the 4 maybe only 1 other one is worth saving and fixing.

I could see it being a vicious cycle, like every few years go back and read stuff and think this is shit!
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Old 05-22-2017, 09:55 PM   #6
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I think it really depends. I'll occasionally dust off old stories if the content itself is worth investing in and I intend to self-publish the work, but otherwise, I think it's a good idea to keep on moving forward. I have far, far too many story ideas--too many to write in a single lifetime--and I don't want to spend too much of my time rehashing old stories. It's the same thing with reading. I'll only re-read a select few favorites, because there are far too many books on my reading list as it is. I will die with an unfinished book clutched in my hands, with another on the way over from Amazon, lol.
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kantarii View Post
So the question is - Am I the only one that feels the need to update earlier chapters to reflect a more mature writing style? If so, is it just a waste of time getting caught up in the vicious cycle of updating and revising older chapters?
Not me. It's what it is at the time of publication, warts and all. I move on. No story is that precious to me that I would obsessively revisit it (unless it was going elsewhere, but the likelihood of that is so close to zero I don't worry about It).

I see no learning curve in reworking the same story over and over. The next one will always be better, not the last one.
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:14 PM   #8
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It's the nature of a good writer. We are always finding ways to improve or say something better.
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:57 PM   #9
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I ought to revisit and rewrite many of my older stories that have been posted on Literotica for a decade or more. I'm not the same writer I was then.

I find it hard enough to complete story series I didn't finish. I'm working on a couple of incomplete, part-posted, stories but it is hard to match what I intended then.

I should write more as jeanne_d_artois. I have a possible Nude Day story for her to write, but again it is difficult to go back.

When I look at my festering heap of 200+ possible stories awaiting completion I know some of them will never be finished. I'm reluctant to delete the partial drafts because sometimes reading them inspires me to finish, or, more usually to start a new story based on ideas in that incomplete one.

For example I have a short story posted named Genie. That led on to a better and longer story named Jeanie the Genie. But both started from a draft Earth Day story about beach cleaning - not beach combing, but removal of rubbish. That's something I do in real life on the beach opposite my house, sometimes on my own and sometimes as part of an organised beach clean. Some of the more unusual items of rubbish can produce plot bunnies.

That beach cleaning draft also started a much longer Earth Day story about litter collecting and recycling. It is still incomplete but has potential. But because it was started about six years ago I'll have to revise what I have already written to produce a completed story.

Some of my heap are so old and obscure that I don't necessarily recognise them as written by me. They were, but by a younger (as an author) Og.
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Old 05-24-2017, 03:33 PM   #10
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Don't do it. Always move forward. Only forward.
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Old 05-26-2017, 01:06 PM   #11
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Keep plowing forward. I'd only re-write those chapters if you're preparing to do something different with the stories. Otherwise, allow them to live on as an example of all the places you've been.
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Old 06-18-2017, 10:34 AM   #12
Kantarii
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Quote:
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Keep plowing forward. I'd only re-write those chapters if you're preparing to do something different with the stories. Otherwise, allow them to live on as an example of all the places you've been.
Well, I would like to do something with the storyline. I've invested a good amount of time in cleaning up the inconsistencies and updating the older chapters to my current writing style. It would be nice to have the storyline published in paperback form one day😇
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:04 AM   #13
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I suspect it isn't so much an adjustment of writing style but has as much to do with changes to the persona the story is written in. It is difficult to retain a persona over a long duration.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:06 PM   #14
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So the question is - Am I the only one that feels the need to update earlier chapters to reflect a more mature writing style? If so, is it just a waste of time getting caught up in the vicious cycle of updating and revising older chapters?
1) No, you're not the only one. I felt a need to 'slightly' fix some of my earliest stories. But I outgrew that long ago.

2) Yes, it's probably a waste of time. But it's YOUR time to waste, and you're only writing for your own satisfaction, so rewrite whatever you want. See if anyone cares.

It's your body of work and you have the right and ability to tweak it however you wish. Rewrite everything. Flush major portions. Insert jokes. Or ignore the past (except to learn from your mistakes) and head into the brilliant future. Don't forget your shades.
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