1. Ghosts in Latin
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    Ghosts in Latin Senior Member

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    Whoa! Hold on there, old writing!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ghosts in Latin, Mar 2, 2009.

    So, I opened a piece written for a plot I have not worked on for a while, and was absolutely encapsulated by it. I thought to myself, "Well, asshole, what happens next? Why haven't you written more!?"

    Have any of you ever abandoned a certain plotline, went back to read it much later, and found it absolutely stunning? Describe the situation!
     
  2. Mcarpenter
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    Mcarpenter Contributing Member

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    Just yesterday, I reread three old poems I wrote a few years ago and thought what a genius I am. And then I thought that I'm probably the ONLY person who would agree with that thought... I think everyone must think they're a genius when they write something or else there wouldn't be so many strange posts over in the review room.

    But your three lines do sound interesting to me as well as yourself, so that's a good sign. :)
     
  3. Ghosts in Latin
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    Ghosts in Latin Senior Member

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    The kicker is: Those weren't the only three lines! There were pages upon pages.

    You should post a couple of lines from one of those poems.
     
  4. Penny Dreadful
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    Penny Dreadful Senior Member

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    I always love coming back to my work. I hate it so much when I'm writing it (usually), that it only seems to get better with age (usually). I have come back to my work, taken one look at all the adverbs and needless dialogue tags and asked myself, "WTF was I thinking?"

    I do recycle work though. One of my current projects has seen three one chapter incarnations. This one's made it past the novel-length mark, so things are looking up for that particular piece of "old writing".
     
  5. Mcarpenter
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    Mcarpenter Contributing Member

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    I figured you had an entire story Ghosty. :D
    You must be considering publishing?

    Btw, I don't think anyone here would appreciate these poems. Probably quite the opposite.
     
  6. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I think this belongs in General Writing.

    *moved*
     
  7. Ghosts in Latin
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    Ghosts in Latin Senior Member

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    In the future, it's a hopeful. - The poems can't be that bad, can they?

    Penny Dreadful, I haven't really been able to appreciate what time can do for the reading of one's own work until now. It's phenominal.

    Also, my mistake with the thread placement. I know the Lounge says something along the lines of, 'A place to talk about anything but writing', but this forum is also under 'Writing Issues' - and I thought this more as a fun discussion rather than an issue.
     
  8. HeinleinFan
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    HeinleinFan Banned

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    In the fifth grade I started writing about a post-apocalyptic society where a virus had become integrated with host DNA and had resulted in several sub-species of humans with high metabolisms. The mutated kids were born in the years following the virus's spread - and since the virus had killed a lot of people, the world's food production had dropped, and many countries were devastated to find that the next generation's children needed three times a normal person's calorie intake in order to survive.

    I kept on the project for several years and then abandoned it, because I kept finding out new things that invalidated this or that or the other of my story's biological background. The summary I wrote above is the "final" storyline, after it had gone through several changes.

    Then in ninth grade I started fiddling around with Ossack and Berendon and a new magic system, and it seemed to me that I had been putting way too much effort into my previous world which I couldn't publish because my biological knowledge kept invalidating the plot. So I chucked the original story.

    I have since gone over the original and found that what I wrote was quite good. But it was written in short chunks and did not produce a single coherent story. Instead it produced a lot of sections of longer works.

    At some point I'll probably make an effort to transfer the old files onto my new computer - right now they're on a floppy disc in storage. And when that happens, I may post a bit here for others to see. But for now I suppose you'll have to take my word for it that I was a reasonably competent writer.
     
  9. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    Well, I'd like to say I have, except that 1. I don't tend to "abandon" writing, just put it on hiatus until I feel I can approach it better; and 2. the writing I put on hiatus, I tend to keep in mind for so long that I can't quite forget it and be surprised the way the OP describes.

    I have looked back on older writing that I DIDN'T abandon (but just haven't read in a while) and have been surprised by what I've written, laughing at jokes I don't remember making and such, but I don't tend to have this reaction with "hiatus" writing since it's usually on hiatus because it sucked!

    I've found old writing and have been surprised by how BAD it was, yes. :redface: I found some old poems I wrote when I must have been around ten and, reading them, wondered WTF was going on in my head!
     
  10. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    Luckily (or not, depending on my perspective at various times) I have boxes full of writing spanning more than 20 years. Just two days ago I came across a little book I made at around the age of 7 (a very "modern" take on the Cinderella tale :p).

    What I find fascinating over anything else, is the things that I have been fascinated by over the years that continued to crop up in my writing at various periods. Occasionally I'll come across something and gain renewed interest in it. Most of the time, however, I either laugh at how good I once thought it was, or extract the best bit and use it for something else.
     
  11. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I almost always refer back to old ideas, snippets and themes. I started writing with a flourish of new ideas and without much control over my own writing faculties. As a result I paid almost no attention to grammar, spelling and redrafting. I now cannot even let close friends look at one of my stories without extensive revisions and there is only one person other than myself I trust to look at a first draft, but if it was not for the relationship I have with this person I would not even do that.

    Now I can hardly look at my older stories without wishing to burn them (and many times I do) but I find as I read them back that there are ideas and themes and terms in them that can be salvaged, dusted off, comb the hair and sent out again.

    Very rarely do I go back to an older story and think the plot any good, but I do find myself unconsciously updating them, and reusing the same basic premise in newer tales, just with a different setting and characters.
     
  12. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    There are a few old poems and Short stories I have come across that have recaptured my attention. I have put the poem "Sensual Feline" on my second blog. The story I am reworking cause I like it a lot. It was called "Soliloquy of an Angel" and it is about a man siting in a room being interrogated about the mueder of his wife by capters that he does not believe are there. He goes on to reveal himself as an angel living in the guise of a human as a way to get back to heaven. I think it is cool
     
  13. pacmansays
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    pacmansays Senior Member

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    I think looking back is always a good thing, I either realise that i've shown potential to be really good at writing/drawing etc or I wonder how on earth did I not realise that what i was writing was rubbish and it validates my current work
     
  14. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    For the amusement of my friends and myself I'd been working on a series of short scripts. It was an over the top sci-fi series- when I left off the MC had just killed a terrorist disguised as his fiancee. Meanwhile, two of his friends confronted a serial killer who was being manipulated by an ancient god. The god was the ex of the MC's very distant brother. Other highlights included long lost nukes, and crazy schemes to knock the planet off its orbit. One day, I hope to finish it off.
     
  15. ThadOcho
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    ThadOcho Member

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    Haha, yeah. There was this one file from a few month's back entitled, "The Stalking", and I didn't remember what it was until I stared at it for a bit (a short story that I, for whatever reasons, abandoned). Check it out:


    “Hey,” James said, his face lighting up with glee. “Did I ever tell you about that one fight over at--”

    “Yes,” Sutton said sullenly. “And about a hundred times, too.”

    The tavern was empty tonight

    ___
    That's it. No period after tonight, either. I really must've been busy. :D
     
  16. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    g1ng3rsnap9ed Contributing Member

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    Ha ha! This is a funny Topic-Idea. I have only done this once when looking through my past writings because most of them suck. It is a very...sublime feeling of pride though as I recall, almost as if I were reading someone else's writings of higher intellect than I. :D
     
  17. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    I do that with many of my pieces, but the most recent was actually a description of a character and a small bit of writing to demonstrate his style.

    When I read about his past (Which, while reading, I was not cognizant of because I had forgotten) I was absolutely stunned at the brilliance of what I had concocted!
    Then I read the little bit with him knocking his friend out with a single punch because he was hired to bring him in and, as a bounty hunter, he was obligated beyond emotion.

    Interesting writing, and a lot of it worked EXACTLY how I thought it would when I was originally writing. (Some of it -- didn't)

    But this is prattle and I doubt anyone is interested. A short excerpt would probably be more welcome, but it's very contextual stuff.
     
  18. ManicHedgehog
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    ManicHedgehog Member

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    That's exactly what I do. Whenever I go back to old, abandoned works. I don't find a ton of merit. Normally, I just keep going back to what I did wrong. I'm only 23, so I feel like I get better all the time - better enough that when I look back at stuff I wrote two or three years ago, I wonder how I ever thought some of that was good.

    In a way, though, it's a good thing. It reminds me that I'm getting better all the time. At the same time, however, it makes me wonder if I'll ever be good enough for my own standards.
     

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