1. huskies
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    huskies Member

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    What would you do?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by huskies, May 10, 2013.

    I have been working on my current book for about a year now and im 60k words into it.

    However i now want to change the begining and a few parts in the middle, i dont know if i should go back and start again or continue to the finish and just edit out the parts that i want to change.

    What would you do?
     
  2. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd say just do what you feel's the best way to get the solution you require. I know that's probably not the answer you're looking for, but as we don't know anything about the novel or your reasons for changing it all we can offer is personal preference, and that's about as much use to you as an inflateable submarine as we aren't the ones writing your story.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hard to say, but I think what I would most likely do in this situation is go ahead and re-write the beginning. Especially if I had some kind of a-ha! moment and this made me really want to change the beginning, I'd have to write that while the idea was still red-hot in my head. I'd probably re-write it in a new document (that is -- I wouldn't totally delete what I had before. I might still be able to use it in this story or in another story). It would depend on whether the beginning was radically different from what I had initially, but I'd probably then cut and paste from the point where my new beginning merged with the rest of the story and then edit that, then continue writing. Again, I wouldn't delete my original version, because if for some reason this new version doesn't work out, I'd want to have the old version still available.
     
  4. huskies
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    huskies Member

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    Ha ha thanks for the response anyway, im changing the beginging as it just came to me one day and it feels like it will fit better with the storey. It wasnt a very strog start and as the story developed it just didnt fit anymore.

    I have continued for the time being but i just keep thinking when i finish im not really going to be finished.
     
  5. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well in my opinion it always helps to get a finished product done and dusted, just so it is finished and you're not permanently putting it off with endless corrections. No-one is truly finished when they're finished; you'll find yourself doing second, third, even fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh drafts. We all do. If you intend to write commercially, it's a good habit to get into.
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You'll get different answers on this. What works for one writer won't necessarily work for another; it's a mistake to make the habits of others your own.

    If I were in your situation (and I often am, given the way I work), I'd go back and fix the beginning, and whatever other parts need fixing, before I continue on to the end. Part of the reason for this is that I can't stand working forward when I know there's work behind me that needs revision - it's like trying to build a house on a foundation of jelly. Everything below me has to be solid before I can build further upwards. Another part of the reason is that, while working on revising early parts of a story, I often come up with ideas that change the ending. I'd hate to keep writing all the way to the end, go back and revise the beginning, then find myself forced to revise the end because of that.
     
  7. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I agree. You have to do what you feel is best and what works best for you. I usually do go back and change things, regardless of how far into writing it I am, before it's finished. Most of the time the things I want to change bring about a need to change other elements as well. To me it makes sense to go back and change it then before I do all the extra work and just have to go change it again. I feel like that is more efficient for how I work.
     
  8. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd change it and then go through and see how much of the rest needs a re-write.
     
  9. JetBlackGT
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    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

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    I saved each new day of work as a complete new file "Save as Day 17" or whatever. So "Day 16" is still it's own file also :) Each edit became "Edit 1" and so on. I have 17 weekends of writing and five edits. On a 2 gig thumb drive, all seventeen writing sessions and five edits do not even take up enough space to show the drive as anything other than empty. The book ended at 461 pages long so total it is a lot of words, which do not take up much space, I guess.

    :)
     
  10. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    I would write out a rough draft or outline of the rest, then go back and start over. Or, if I thought I'd loose the momentum of the new idea, then I'd just start over again. The end usually takes care of itself if you already know roughly how you want it to end.
     
  11. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would make notes on what to change and then just focus on finishing the draft.
     
  12. Somnus
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    I myself would suggest pushing on to the end before starting any editing. This may be applicatable only to me (as I can be, I freely admit it, pretty perfectionist at times), but once I start editing it's extremely hard to pull my mind away from editing and back to advancing in the actual writing part. I have never actually finished a story, partly due to this trait (the other part is that being fifteen, one could safely say I do not have enough military experience in African territories to write a military thriller located there).
    Even if you know you can safely start editing without getting sucked into an endless vortex, I'd still suggest to keep going to the end. Maybe your story will take an independent twist and those bouts you thought were 'bad' will actually cement your new ending. One can never know!
     
  13. heal41hp
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    heal41hp Contributing Member

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    I, personally, would fix things before continuing. I would do this because details will inevitably change once parts are rewritten and I love being consistent with my details. What if something in those parts to be rewritten is referenced later? Those references will be wrong if you finish before changing stuff. And if everything's straightened out now, there'll be less to fix later.

    Now obviously you don't have to rewrite these parts to perfection just yet. You just need to get the drafted quality of it in so it at least matches what you've got already.

    One thing, though. Others (at least one other) have said you should keep the original version, just in case. I concur completely with this. Whenever I rewrite parts, I keep the cut bits in their own special file in case I need that information for something else. I try noting the page I took it from but that's really a useless tactic...
     

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