Discussion Re-reading Your Work

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Idrelle_Miocovani, Feb 3, 2012.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Anime_Jedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2007
    star 3
    I looked over some of my old stories, I had few grammar issues. Still working on that, there is one that I really liked. Not sure if I'll write sequel to it or not.
  2. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    I've recently been rereading some of my old stuff, and I found a lot of it wanting to be finished! I have one I haven't touched since '05 that I worked on last night. Odd, odd feeling.
  3. Takianna Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2005
    star 3
    I usually read several times before I put something out. I put it away for a bit and then re-read. When I go back and read some of my older fics, well they are embarrassing, to say the least. I think we are all overly critical of our own work because you have to be to improve yourself. Writing is a fluid and very subjective art form, so sometimes what we thought would be great once in our writing career, can be down right ugly later. Just the way it moves.
  4. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I reread my fanfics and I don't see much difference, but that is because when I first started writing in 2004 I had a beta who would help me ....A LOT! But in 2006 I started a story and got about 5 or 6 chapters done and then stopped writing it because of medical problems that made it difficult for me to concentrate. I didn't start back writing the story until 2011. My old beta never saw my first few chapters and when I started writing again I didn't have a beta. I had somebody give me a review of the story asking if I had written the first 5 chapters at an earlier period because there were distinct differences in the writing style (they thought I got better). So therefore there must have been a change over the years.
  5. Valiowk Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2000
    star 6
    I like rereading my old work after some time has passed and my enthusiasm towards a certain subject may have cooled somewhat (not that I've lost interested in that area - I've never lost interest in anything I wrote a story about, only that I'm not as hyped up about that subject as I was when I was writing the story). It gives me good memories of why I was so hyped up about the subject as to actually write something about it, and lets me track how my interests and writing style have evolved over time. Like many others have commented, works that I might have rated as "very good" back then I would probably rate as "good" now; however, I also see a certain innocence and conviction in my previous writing that would not be present if I attempted to write/rewrite it now which is very precious to me. Consequently, I have a policy of never fixing my completed works except for some subtle grammatical errors that I might have overlooked previously.

    Interestingly enough, there are some of my works that I regarded as "okay, but not yet good" previously because they seemed too personal to me (for some reason I've never been comfortable leaving hints of something personal in my writings) - when I look at them now, it occurs to me that they're really should be rated as "good" (or even "very good"), and I don't seem to mind the personal element in them so much anymore. So I guess a revised evaluation can really go either way, depending on how one has changed in the meantime.
    Last edited by Valiowk, Sep 11, 2012
  6. Mayla Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    I love coming back to old stories. I usually expect that my older stories will probably suck, so sometimes I end up being pleasantly surprised to come back and find that that fic I started a year or two ago is actually halfway decent, or--dare I say it--almost sort-of good. :p

    I have so few finished stories that for the most part it's a matter of picking a story up to work on it a little more before I set it down again. I usually start with a decent outline so I'll be able to pick up where I left off without too much confusion. Unless my tastes have changed and I think the old plot is lame... in which case all bets are off, lol. That happened recently with one of my in-progress stories... it's currently plot-less after page 30 or so, but there were some parts of it that I liked enough not to want to throw it all out. Hrm.
    Takianna likes this.
  7. J_Girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 4
    I have been re-reading a lot of my old stuff as well and I have to say the stuff I knew was pure fluff then absolutely makes me cringe now. I am so glad a lot of it never saw the light of the boards. Then as with others I have been impressed with some of the stuff and couldn't believe it was me who came up with that - I checked, it was me and not one of my betas. ;)

    Although re-reading the longest one is taking time, but I consider time well spent because of two reasons. One, I need to in order to further the story to an ultimate finish because nobody likes unfinished fics. Two, let's face it, who doesn't like reading their own fics best? Isn't that why we write at all? To put our own perspective on the subject even if we truly adore somebody else's take on it?
  8. Mayla Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 1
    Yes, that was also true for me up until I was thirteen or so. Very limited internet access, so I had few places to read fanfics and nowhere to post them. Writing was very much for my own amusement. And then on the first fanfic archive I joined, no one ever commented, so it still felt like I was just writing for myself lol. When I joined another site later and started to get some good reviews, I was pleasantly surprised!

    Although, I wouldn't complain if someone wrote a fic just like what I wanted to write, because then I could read it without having to do the work, and the ending would actually be a surprise. ;)
    Last edited by Mayla, Sep 17, 2012
  9. J_Girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 4
    I actually enjoy reading all the different takes on a subject. I haven't found one I thought worn out yet, even though I am sure there are those whom would not agree.
  10. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    I am generally OK with reading my older stuff, storywise. But I always see typos, typos, typos, typos. Drives me nuts, because often I don't have time to go back and fix them.
  11. J_Girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 4
    Oh Force YES, those aggravating typos!!:mad: I swear I was re-reading for the, I don't know, 87th time maybe, and I still found typos! How? Just how? [face_waiting]
  12. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    Urgg. Typos. I'll reread stuff that I've read 6 or 7 times and that a beta has read (no offense to them) and I'll still find stupid typos that just got skimmed over. I swear they appear after the fact.
  13. J_Girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 4
    Must be the work of the Evil Typo Troll, obviously related to the Sock Monster from the clothes dryer fame.
  14. SoA Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2008
    star 3
    I did kind of a huge NaNo fanfic last year and let it sit, and just now am going back through and revising it all. Honestly, I am pretty impressed with myself for how much quality I managed to work into a NaNoWriMo, though typos ahoy! Only near the end did the plot start to not make any sense. Thank goodness for revisions. :)

    Though, I kind of avoid going back to read some of my older fanfiction. The writing style of 13-year-old SoA is pretty different than 25-year-old SoA. Go figure! I don't need the internal cringe of, "I wrote that??" Haha. I'd just want to go back and fix it all, and I don't need that aspiration on my writing checklist. Writing new things is way more fun.
    Last edited by SoA, Sep 20, 2012
  15. J_Girl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 4
    That's a good point. My own fics as a teenager are something I can never face again even if for the sake of nostalgia. It's probably one of those blessing in disguises you hear about that I lost that notebook long ago. Stuff I wrote in my late twenties is completely different now a couple of decades later, but still very readable and not cringworthy - as much anyway. So, while I still like the idea of re-reading and I just can't let go of those typos if I see them, I am always going to prefer anything I am currently writing over the older stuff.
  16. jacen200015 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2002
    star 4
    I reread my old work every so often. I cringe when i reread them and when i compare the first version of a story to an updated version, I'm just blown away. Currently i am finishing up the rewrite of Jedi Uprising, now called Emergence Of The Jedi. I first started that fic in 2002! The changes and writing style between the two is amazing. I also noticed how much more mature i have become in ten years :) Its weird returning to the boards a lot more mature and wiser and seeing my old fics and thinking "how did anyone read that?"
  17. leiamoody Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2005
    star 4
    I only started reading my old stuff again when I was looking for ideas to recycle in my original fic. Is it arrogant for me to say that some of my old fics had some really good bits? Seriously, that does sound cocky, but I'm the worst among the worst of critics about my own writing. Yet there was some parts in various stories where I couldn't remember writing them; it was like someone else came in and did some ghostwriting for me.

    But other parts really haven't aged well. There's two stories that could use reboots. The unfinished pieces have some potential, but there is definitely a reason I never completed them.
    DarthBreezy likes this.
  18. reagan64 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2006
    star 3
    I always have a very difficult time reading my own writing. I just get bored. I already know it all so I can't get myself to slog through it. When I can do it, I always find a part I like and figure that my best work is behind me. Then again, the stuff I wrote for FF.net when I was 10 or so is really painful to read now.
  19. laloga Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2011
    star 2
    It depends. Since I tend to write very linearly, (regarding my OCs and their stories), I'll go back and re-read stuff in order to refresh my memory about what happened. Very, very rarely will I read something of my own "just for fun," since all I can usually see is what I would do differently, now. Sometimes, though, I'll have a hankering to read a particular scene for no reason whatsoever. :)
  20. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I was looking over one of my recent fics and thinking about rewriting it. Then, I stopped myself because I know that if I start getting into the habit of rewriting, I will never stop, and fics will be trapped in an endless cycle of reboots because I will never be satisfied. If I change something in my continuity later on, oh well! I'll retcon it when I get to it, but I'm not touching my old fics—not even my older recent fics!
  21. Bale Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2005
    star 4
    It is a love/hate relationship re-reading my works. I love to see something I created, but then I hate how poorly written it is, and I cringe when I realized that I actually posted it for the world to see :eek:
    DarthBreezy likes this.
  22. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    My first long fic 'Once in a Lifetime' is good but when I read it all I can think of that it could have been much better.

    I am considering re-writing it. Make it more compliant with canon and make it harder on the characters to have to make the choice that was made in the end.
  23. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Be careful about rewriting. Once you start down that dark path, you may not be able to find your way back. Many authors have I known to walk the Rewrite path. Few returned. And those few that have returned, only one had returned with some level of success. The others returned only because they retreated in fear and frustration. It is a dark and twisting path of misery.
    Admiral Volshe and Kahara like this.
  24. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    I like many others..love to re-read my stuff I don't think that makes me (or any of us) narccists..we're just proud. I admit I do tend to be overly critical like most of you have pointed out. But that's probably because we're aware of how good we are/what we can do.

    There's alot of time I've beenlike..man this is good then I'm like uhhh I wrote this. I mean that's not the response for all my works..alota parts I look at and still like what I wrote..but I agree there are parts that make you go HUH.


    YES! I constantly want to re-write stuff and I'm like NO NO NO. Its fine..Just post it already. LOL But I do try to make sure it is what I think is perfect before I post..




    Nah, I don't think its cocky. You're just really proud of your work, that's important that you have pride in what you write. I've been writing in general since I was seven and believe me..I've seen myself improve in leaps and bounds. My first fic was a true story about myself called the Scary Operation (based on an surgery I had as a child). I knew how to tell a story but...again I was seven.

    It can be dangerous..you might make it better you might make it worse..its very unbalanced.


    And typos are the bane of all writers..and grammar...that's why I have my friend Victor look over my stuff to seek out spell/grammar errors. He'll point out if stuff sounds odd. And then I get frustrated (lol) cause then I have to figure out how to re-write it.

    But having a person look at your stuff is very beneficial in the end.
  25. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
    What I hate is rereading my stuff while simultaneously reading some well-known author's first novel that was a blockbuster bestseller.

    Ugh.
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