Born in a Treacherous Time / writers / writing

#IWSG–Redo an old story? Does it work?

writers groupThis post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.

This month’s question–Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Well, if by ‘pulled out a really old story and reworked it’, you mean ‘took decades to bring a story to completion’, yes, I’ve done that. Am doing it. I’ve been working on a paleohistoric fiction story for… well, decades… and have it finally to a final edit stage.

OK, not really final edit, but a lot further along than I’ve ever gotten in the past, with a planned publication date of Summer 2018. I’d share the name, but I got input at my last writer conference that the title I’d selected (Lucy: Story of Man) wasn’t as perfect as I thought it to be so will be changing it.

I’ll let you know if it all works out. Sigh.

More IWSG articles:

How being a writer changed my experience as a reader

Beta Reader? Or not?

When do you know your story is ready?

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. The sequel to To Hunt a Sub, Twenty-four Days, is scheduled for Summer, 2017. Click to follow its progress.

77 thoughts on “#IWSG–Redo an old story? Does it work?

  1. Pingback: #IWSG–Pet Peeves About Writing | WordDreams...

  2. I remember starting a book when I was a kid about a boy whose father is kidnapped and, in the process of trying to help his dad, is knocked down, hitting his head on a rock, and awaking with amnesia. Yeah. I don’t think I’ll resurrect that one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so true. Sometimes, stuff that was problematic gets resolved just because we could think it through. My most difficult writing is a story that’s new. I’m working on one of those right now. Just not going well!


      • New ones are a problem for me too. I like to pick up and walk away many times when I’m working on a story. New tweaks keep popping up. Trouble is, sometimes I don’t have the time to go slow. 🙂
        Maybe you need to walk away and do something else for a bit?

        Liked by 1 person

    • An agent I talked to at a conference said that not that many people would resonate with the Lucy title because they wouldn’t make the connection to the ancient Lucy skeleton. I guess before I change the title I should run a poll.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I keep every draft of every book on a massive hard drive and am surprised when I look back at how many times I’ve changed the title. that tells me how much my thoughts have changed about the theme, doesn’t it?


  3. I thinking finding old ideas and using them is great, but I’ve not done it yet. There is something in my hard drive I’d like to do at some point, but something else always seems to take precedence.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, I can totally relate to “does taking decades to write a book count?” Seems like I’ve been writing my story forever.

    Oh, and your question on my blog about the Amazon cliffs, it goes something like this. You get an initial bump by Amazon when you first upload a book, but unless your book really takes off, the Amazon algorithms will begin ignoring your book after 30 days and your ranking will drop if you can’t find some way to bump it back up. There’s also a 90 day cliff, but I’m not sure exactly what causes that. There’s so much marketing to learn I can’t keep them all straight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Are those real? I also heard that Amazon wanted 15 reviews before it started recommending your book. Although I didn’t place my book as a Military Thriller, Amazon keeps cataloging it there, which seems to be a sweet spot. Not a lot of books in that category so I keep popping up the list. Of course, it does mean the military aficionados keep reviewing it. Not so good.


  5. I have updated a non-fiction book “A Dream is a Wish the Heart Makes” that I published in 2004. The new version is “Do You Have a Dream?” is in an E Book and an audio book that syncs with the E Book. I am in the process of creating a journal edition that has short clips and places in the new book to write. The new version came out in January 2017. I have sold 20 audio books and 15 E Books.
    Do You Have a Dream?: 140 Insights to Building Confidence, Overcoming Stress & Loving Yourself by Grace Allison on sale Kindle version $1.99 Audio Book $.99

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m looking forward to this one, Jacqui. Is it okay to say I’m glad you’re changing the title? Your books are exciting, original, and story of man sounds a bit like a history book. Happy Editing! I’m sure it’s going to be worth the effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have stories written pre-computer days, Jacqui. It’s fun to look at them every now and then and I’d love to get them on my hard disk, but I’m just waiting for a quiet time to be able to do that. I love the sound of your paleohistoric fiction story – keep going with it xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wahoo, you go. “I will persist until I succeed.” Og Mandino It is only failure if you quit, otherwise, it was just trying out a lot of things until you find the right one and BOOM!
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

    “Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent. ”
    Marilyn vos Savant

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Jackie – if I had old ideas and stories kicking around I’d be pulling them out and re-starting … but I seem to find new posts to post and so get on with it. It will be fascinating to read your paleohistoric fiction story … so please keep on with it! Cheers HIlary

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A good question and I don’t see why there should be any problem using old ideas and reworking them – as long as you can step away from the initial work. Good luck with your new story for next summer, Jacqui!!

    Liked by 1 person

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