1. Amanda Rebello

    Amanda Rebello New Member

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    Writing when it's already half written...

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Amanda Rebello, May 29, 2017.

    I've recently revisited an old project of mine. A fairly good chunk of it is already written but I find it's really hard to keep writing on it with out getting bogged down in rewriting all of it. Any tips for tackling this problem? Should I go through and edit first? Or rewrite the whole thing from scratch? Or just try to finish it even though it's mess?
     
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  2. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    All of the above? I'd say start with editing, just to get your foot back in the door. When you get tired of that, start writing new content. Rinse and repeat.
     
  3. Amanda Rebello

    Amanda Rebello New Member

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    It feels never ending though. The entire thing needs to be reworked and I feel like I'm not getting anything done. It's so frustrating.
     
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  4. Myrrdoch

    Myrrdoch Active Member

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    If my experience is typical, you'll have days like that. Editing is always the hardest part of writing for me. You just have to remind yourself that yes, you actually are getting something done. And there is a huge difference between having 230 pages of stuff that needs tuning, and having 230 pages of scrap. But if it's really turning into a chore, maybe start with new content first. That might inspire you to go back and rework stuff, or perhaps it might lead to the realization that you don't have to change as much as you think you do.
     
  5. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    It happens. Sometimes you look at something old and think: Facelift, hell, this needs
    a whole body lift. :p

    I just hold onto the old stuff, and instead of rewriting the entire thing. Use it instead
    to inspire me to write a better story based off the old. Gotta have the bad to guide me
    to making it good.

    Better to start over from scratch with a bit of a foundation, than tear down the existing
    frame just to rebuild.

    Or as they say in my old country: " Once you fuck up on the mash potatoes, they are
    royally fucked. Nothing will save them, but to start over and not fuck up again." :D
     
  6. joe sixpak

    joe sixpak Banned

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    ==========
    Take what you have and outline it. Then fix it to make a good story that makes sense and the scenes line up like dominoes ready to fall.
    Fixing the outline will be far easier than diddling the text.
    Consider that to be development editing. Save line editing for the final draft.

    Then rewrite from scratch (or reuse anything if it really does fit) using the outline.
     
  7. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    I have a project that's about five years old, and I've been thinking lately about picking it back up. It's maybe ... 80-85% done. My plan is to see if I can just pick up where I left off, finish it, then edit to hell out of it, but since it's moderately old (I have'em that're more in the decade and a half range) I know that my style has noticeably changed and my writing has generally improved in that time, so it might not be worth it. Consider if getting what's already been written up to snuff will take up more time and effort than just rewriting entirely. On the other hand, do you want closure on the current draft, just to see it done? Or would it be more satisfying to revamp the thing than try to salvage it?

    There's no concrete answer here. For my project, if I find adding onto something that I know is kinda crap tedious or frustrating, the backup plan is to rewrite. It seems like you're already at that part. Maybe try starting a rewrite - see how it goes. You'll always have the old draft to return to if you want to.
     
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  8. Lifeline

    Lifeline North of South. Contributor

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    I'd say it depends what is a mess. If it's the storyline and general inconsistencies you might be better off with a rewrite IMO. If it's style, it's fixable in editing. But that's only my own opinion.
     
  9. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    I would say, either just start from scratch, using your draft as a basic framework to work from as opposed to including it as part of the written draft, or go through the existing section first with a proper edit, and then keep writing. But I'd say just starting from scratch probably makes more sense because when you edit, it might change so much anyway that it would feel like starting from scratch lol. But either way, the entire thing needs to rise to the quality of work you currently produce.

    It's why I can never do the "just write" approach without editing as I go. I tried it one time and finished an entire draft - I then couldn't bring myself to edit it because seeing that I have 80k+ words of utter trash to trudge through made me wanna curl up in bed and pretend the thing never existed. My writing has to be of a certain quality for me to be willing to read and reread it, so if I've edited as I went, I know the quality is decent and that makes editing that much easier! :D
     
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  10. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Are you making lots of basic changes to the story itself? If so, maybe it would be best to just start again. However, if you're keeping the plot and characters more or less intact, I'd just keep going from where you left off. When you get finished, you'll have a good idea of what your style has evolved into, and you can go back and edit the first part to fit with your finished style.

    Basically, though, it's your call. Do whatever gets you going again. And good luck!
     
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  11. Thundair

    Thundair Contributor Contributor

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    I have resurrected two stories that were partially done. My first issue was I have grown up a little in my writing style. The other was I had a lot of narrative that should have been dialog. I still used the original draft and made heavy editing changes as I went along. My editor, nurse Ratchets grandson, made me clean up the rest.
     
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  12. dragonflare137

    dragonflare137 Member

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    I would say read through what you have first. If you like the actual plot of the story, you should continue on and finish. Then you can go back and fix whatever writing you don't like.
     
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