IWSG – Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, March Question:

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

The Insecure Writer's Support GroupGiven that I only delved into fiction writing about six years ago, I don’t have any stories that are “really old”. For me, this question also requires some differentiation between long and short fiction.

On the long side, I have a novel that I wrote and revised for more than three years and finally gave up on. I declared it a “learning effort” and it’s been sitting in a virtual drawer for about two and a half years. I may or may not rework it at some point. It’s not currently on my agenda, but I really like the underlying story.  It will require a complete rewrite. If that day comes, I’ll let you know how it works out. In the meantime, I have other novel/novella length works-in-progress.

On the short side, my process is already lengthy.  There are often significant time lags between jotting down an idea, researching, writing a first draft, multiple revisions and a final polish. A scan of my short story folder shows work that is three-years-old and incomplete. I don’t have an exact count of my completed short stories but there are approximately seventy. Of these, I’ve sold nine and placed three.

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  1. My process is already super lengthy, too. I do have plans to go back and rewrite and ultimately finish a few projects from years and years ago, but I know it’ll be quite a while before I actually get to them.

  2. Sometimes an idea doesn’t come together fully all at once, and it takes time and a fresh pair of eyes to see what it is that a story needs to work. It sounds like you’ve got a good process going though!

  3. “Learning effort” is basically how I would look at such things. And if you like the essence of that effort you should definitely reconsider going at it again. Sounds to me that you have some pretty good work behind you. Congratulations for your productive output.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  4. Wow, 70 stories is a lot of writing! It looks like you’re doing a great job finding them homes. I wish you continued success.

    I didn’t know you were a member of the IWSG as well…this was a nice surprise!

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