Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Reworking An Old Story

Insecure Writer's Support Group

 

Insecure Writer’s Support Group is a monthly blog hop where writers share their insecurities support each other. Easy as that!

Check out the IWSG Facebook Group and the list of participating blogs.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

 

Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

My second attempt at National Novel Writing Month in 2012 was a story with too many ideas and no real focus. A classic Nano disaster! But hey, I learned more about myself as a writer, what I wanted to write, and what I didn’t. (For the record: if you want to write sweet and funny young adult books, maybe don’t try writing a psychological thriller. I blame Gone Girl.)

Gone Girl: Hello, Amy. Who are you?

My manuscript didn’t know its identity either.

I decided to take one of those too-many ideas from my messy Nano draft and turn it into a short story. Guess what? That story will be published in a young adult anthology later this year! Woohoo!

You could say it worked out, but I have to be honest here. It was really hard to take chunks of that old manuscript and turn into something new. After taking several chapters worth of content and revising it into its own complete 4,000 word story, my critique partners and two rounds of editing from the publisher morphed the prose further. I doubt much, if anything, was left from that original draft other than the character’s names.

So, was it worth it to even try to take the existing manuscript and form it into a new story? It was essentially completely rewritten. Then again, it’s hard to edit a blank page, right? The existing characters and setting and premise still exist, but different words tell their story.

My advice to anyone trying to do this is to not stress to hard about keeping the original content. Take your ideas, your characters, maybe your setting, and then go ahead and rewrite.

Happy March everyone! What goals do you have for the month? 

 

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9 comments to Insecure Writer’s Support Group: Reworking An Old Story

  • My plan is the same every month. Keep plugging away. 😉

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  • Definitely great advice! I hope to finish the novella I’m working on this month. But spring break for my little guy is coming up!

  • I’ve tried to rework the very first manuscript I ever wrote several times. It’s still not up to my standards, but I plan to try again someday. I don’t think I’m cut out for short story writing–I’m way too verbose–but I love what you said about at least you have something there to edit (or completely rewrite). Also, after a completed draft, I feel like I know the characters and the world so I’m not making it up as I go along. (Until I go and recharacterize someone…_

  • March is for doing more prepwork for April’s A-to-Z blogging, as well submit another short story or to. And hey, maybe I’ll finish my edits on that old story I dug out? (Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though)

  • Agreed! That was my experience too. You have to be willing to let EVERYTHING go if you want the story to succeed.

  • I’ve written a few things that extensively, too. It’s interesting to see how it all can change from one write to the next.
    In March – I’m healing up from one surgery so I can have another (bluck), but I’m also working at getting in some writing time.

  • I have had the same writing ‘to do’ list since September. It is sometimes frustrating.
    I just keep getting new ideas, new clients and opportunities. Its all good but I would be so happy to finish something this month!
    Have a great month!

  • It sounds like a great success story, but I can understand how much hard work went into it. Good for you for sticking with it.

    March, as always, will be an extremely busy month for me as I keep trying to get the word out about my new releases and prepare for StokerCon in April. I’m also launching a new website and going to China this month! Stop the world, I wanna get off.

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