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Major story rewrites... What's the best way to handle them?

evilynnthales
Updated:

I started a story (Cold Hearted), and published the first chapter just over a week ago. I expected to end up with a relatively short story, like everything else I've written...

However, this story has been much easier to write. Words flow better, and... I want to make it a full novel. The problem is that several things I've written about the world and characters only work in the short term.

As I see it, I basically have three options:

(Well, I could also write the full story before posting it next time, but posting as I write has really worked for me)

1) Just follow my original plan and continue writing... Full speed ahead, and damn the inconsistencies.

2) Rewrite what I've published to clean up the problems, and leave a note with a list of everything that changed when I publish the next new chapter.

3) Take the story to the end of the current major plot point, and leave the MC in a good place, with the implication that she is building up power so that she can attack her enemies.

But... Also go back and rewrite it, making the larger changes I'd like to make. Post the changes as a new story, making sure to mention that it's a rewrite of the previous story. Post a final chapter to the old story that is a summary of the changes I made, and a link to the new version of the story.

Then I can continue writing as a full novel.

I'm leaning heavily toward the third option.

What do y'all think?

Edit: Currently the story is only about 14k words long.

Replies:   PotomacBob  Switch Blayde  REP
PotomacBob
Updated:

@evilynnthales

Some authors here have posted more than one version of the story, the initial story relatively short and the second version relatively long (Revenge of the Nerd). Some have done it the reverse - long version first, short version later (Charlotte's Movie; A Beautiful Mess). They may or may not later remove one of the versions from the site (Charlotte's movie was removed, I believe).

Ernest Bywater

Having revised and reposted many stories due to improving writing styles I simply rewrite the story and then repost it via the Wizard to replace the older version with the new one.

Replies:   evilynnthales
evilynnthales

@Ernest Bywater

That was my first thought, but I'm not just writing an improved version of a scene.

I'm changing several abilities and the political situation in a way that directly affects the story. A reader that hasn't read the changes will be confused by what happens in the next few chapters.

Ernest Bywater

@evilynnthales

If you're making significant changes to the story just give it a similar name and post it as a new story with a note about it being an alternate. If you look at my story list you'll see 2 stories with similar names and starts (Teacher's Pets - Teacher's Education) where I had a story which i started the same and took two slightly different ways.

Replies:   evilynnthales
evilynnthales

@Ernest Bywater

I'll do that then.

Thanks to both of you :)

Ernest Bywater

You're welcome. We always try to help people, although there are times when we help them to depart out of the back of the aircraft at over 10,000 feet while we keep the parachutes locked away so they can have a faster departure.

Switch Blayde

@evilynnthales

I wrote a short story called "Last Kiss." It's posted on SOL and another site. I then wrote a full-length novel version of it which I ended up publishing but could have just as easily posted on SOL and the other site.

Remus2

If you're writing to enjoy it instead of getting paid for it, then write it how you want to.
Out of any large group of people, there will always be at least one you piss off no matter how well written or good a story it is.

That would be my .02 on it.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Remus2


That would be my .02 on it.


I see you've had a huge rate increase!

Replies:   Remus2
Remus2

@Ernest Bywater

I see you've had a huge rate increase!

If I keep eating my peas, I might be able to make it .03 someday..

Replies:   richardshagrin
REP

@evilynnthales

Well, I could also write the full story before posting it next time, but posting as I write has really worked for me


Posting as you write works if there are only a few chapters to a story and if you have a clear picture of where the story will go and follow your vision.

For longer stories, you will find that you want to change things that you wrote in earlier chapters in order to support the later chapters and changes to the plot. For longer stories, completing the story works best.

As to your options, I would go with 2, however instead of defining the changes to previously posted content, I would tell my readers that the previously posted content had changed significantly and suggest they reread the updated content. Of course you will still face the problem of posting new chapters and later want to change their content.

Of course you could also defer posting any additional chapters until you are finished or almost finished writing the story. That approach would be best implemented as a story with a new title, which was also suggested as a option 4. You could ask Lazeez to delete your current story and that would allow you to keep the current title and post it as if it were a new story.

richardshagrin

@Remus2

If I keep eating my peas

Mind your peas and cues and you will find peas and happiness in pool.

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@richardshagrin

Mind your peas and cues and you will find peas and happiness in pool.


Man who cooks meat and pees in same pot... not hygienic

Crumbly Writer

@evilynnthales

That was my first thought, but I'm not just writing an improved version of a scene.

I'm changing several abilities and the political situation in a way that directly affects the story. A reader that hasn't read the changes will be confused by what happens in the next few chapters.

I've done that, and have taken down several stories in anticipation of rewriting them.

The simplest way is as Ernest suggests, simply revise what you want and then simply repost it, in its entirety.

However, it sounds like what you're going for is to complete your short work (novellette?) and then use that material to produce a full-sized work. In that case, I'd leave the original shorter work as is, but develop, write and post the new version as a completely different story, possibly under the same series/universe. Since you are writing an entirely new story, you're allowed to hack away at whatever you feel you need too. But, since it is a new work, you should give it a new title and story description, to distinguish the two. If the second version is more popular than the first, or the styles differ dramatically, then you can remove the earlier work so it doesn't reflect badly on the newer, revised story.

richardshagrin

Don't rewrite stories about Majors. Stories about Captains are more interesting. Majors are mostly staff officers, Captains get to run companies.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

Don't rewrite stories about Majors. Stories about Captains are more interesting. Majors are mostly staff officers, Captains get to run companies.


I don't know about that, Richard. I think I'll write a story about Lieutenant Major who joins the Australian Air Force to become Pilot Office Lieutenant Major.

BTW both Lieutenant and Major used to be acceptable first names and family names in England. General was also an acceptable family name, thus you could have a Major General who becomes a Lieutenant Major General as soon as he joins the Army.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Ernest Bywater

But in England they call Lieutenant Left tenant. Much different than an American Loot tenant. A guy named Motors becomes General Motors. Similarly you get General Mills or General Electric. One that probably was on duty was General Hospital. General Marshal during World War Two was promoted to five stars but turned down the British title for that rank of Field Marshal because he didn't want to be Marshal Marshal.

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