Recently I joined this group on twitter called The Insecure Writer’s Support Group or IWSG for short. Their main purpose is to connect writers and help them share their writing and encourage one another. Each month there’s a new question they require writers to answer in a blog post. Then they encourage us to look at each other’s blogs and see how they answered the question.
March 1 Question: Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?
This is my first month doing this and already it made me really think. I’m so used to popping out new story ideas after new story ideas that it was honestly really hard for me to remember whether or not I’d ever reworked an old story. The answer is yes but it still took me a while to remember. Most importantly, it really makes me want to revisit more of my old stories and give them an honest chance at a do over.
If this is something you’re interested in then visit their website and sign up! Also, here’s their twitter page TheIWSG.
But anyway, here’s my answer to March 1st’s question:
Not sure if there’s any sites left alive quite like this but growing up, I used to be apart of many different forums where I’d be able to create a character and roleplay as that character.
The one I remember most fondly was a pokemon inspired one. The admin for the site created the backstory and setting for the world we’d be writing in. People from all over the world joined, adding their own unique take and characters into the mix. It was always so interesting to see where the story would carry itself with so many people contributing to it.
It was the first real time I’d created my very own character. Someone who had formed from my imagination with the personality traits I desired. In the past, I relied heavily on characters I saw through anime and maybe I would tweak them a little but they were never truly my own. (Best of all, I was given my very own pokemon and who wouldn’t want that? We didn’t have any of this Pokemon GO in my time!)
I don’t remember how long the site was running for but within that time, I bonded with other writers and became friends with them; some of which I still talk to now from time to time.
When the site finally died, I still found myself attached to the characters. I knew it would never be the same since everyone went their separate ways, but I didn’t want the characters to die along with the site. From there, I created my own stories, I guess they could be considered fanfiction. I remember writing them with the same characters from the role-play forum (or added new ones) but in different story plots.
I know I reworked a few but mainly my way of doing that was taking those characters again and again and placing them in a new universe / plot line. Sometimes I would shift their personalities ever so slightly but most of the time they stayed the same, just in a different setting (I guess I pulled a Zelda).
The best part about revisiting an old story is seeing where you came from and how you’ve evolved since then. It can make you cringe, it can make you smile, but usually I find it inspires me. It reminds me what I want to do with my life and why I work endlessly at my writing projects. One day I’ll finally have a finished product that I can be proud of. I truly can not wait for that day!
It’s also nice to recognize that old stories might never make it off a word document but there’s always something to be learned from them. From one of my stories, I discovered an interesting plotline that I took and reworked into a completely new story (my fanfiction might never see the light of day but at least small details will).
So far, none of those stories I’ve revisited have really turned into something worth publishing. I mainly like to read over them and reminisce on the past. I doubt, no matter how much reworking I do to them, that they will ever become anything other than distant memories. So I guess in that sense, reworking hasn’t worked for me. I’m sure it can, and has benefited others, but I haven’t found the right story that would make that true for me (not yet at least). I tend to be able to rework ideas better than stories that have already taken shape on a page.