Going Back and Making Changes

Does anyone do this? I only ask because I just made alterations to the third chapter of my fic. Normally, I would have shied away from changing anything, but this really needed to be done. I just wasn't happy with the chapter and now I am.


Do you guys just soldier on?


I would love to completely re-write my beginning to grab readers a bit better (It was the first thing I'd ever written since school). I am willing to go back and make minor changes and re-writes, provided I don't impact more than a chapter or change any of the core events though.


Depends on what the change is, for me. I'm not okay with changing things that would alter the plot. If a character died, for instance, I wouldn't go back and change it so that they lived. That's a rather extreme example, though.


I'm okay with fixing typos, rewording for clarity, correcting inaccurate descriptions, and resolving continuity errors. Anything that is clearly a "mistake," I want fixed, but things that are just "inconvenient" for the direction I want to go, I will deal with (work around them if possible, go a different direction if not--both important options for provoking creative thought, I think).


All that being said, I try quite hard and plan pretty extensively in order to avoid having to do such things. I just don't want to turn a blind eye to them if they do end up happening.


I pretty much agree with George Frost. I wouldn't go back and change anything major, but I have gone back and edited a few throw-away lines that ended up contradicting or implying something other then where I eventually took my story. Often they were lines that didn't implicitly state something, but hinted at something or didn't make much sense once you got to know that characters more. Those I'm happy to edit.


I haven't yet completely undone major plot points but I don't see a problem with revising sections for continuity errors or just to bring the story into some kind of consistent style.


Changing major points really depends on what kind of work you have in front of you.


Some serials can take weird developments and make them work. (The soap opera format/weekly episode format seems more forgiving of changes in direction as many of those familiar with them are used to such things :) ).


NOvel type serials are tricky. YOu don't want to be stuck with a bad choice early in the story and it's far better to fix it while you can rather than spend weeks to months trying to write your way out of that choice or give up. But ret-conning is something that gets frustrating for your readers so it should be done sparingly.


I would redo one part if I could. It loses people a little bit and is rather topical. Then again, if you like that part, then you'll like the rest.


Still, it'd be more along the lines of compressing it. Still some important events there, even if nobody thought so back then.


I would like to make some changes to early parts, both pacing and general writing, but for now I've kinda put it aside - partly because Jukepop's system makes heavy editing tricky, partly because I don't want the overall plot to get disjointed.


But yeah, considering webserials are often novelesque and require you read the whole thing, it's a little self-sabotaging if your opening chapters are so much worse than you your earlier ones and thus people never reach the good stuff.


I revised the beginning of NMAI a LOT of times for interest, clarity and characterization. I felt free to do that because a) I called it experimental, so I was learning from writing and b) reader feedback wasn't that my writing was bad, but that they wanted more about the characters without all of them being introduced at once, so I spread them out.


When readers want MORE of your writing that's worth revising for. I learned that its better to take your time with a scene than rush. I think "Diggory" starts stronger because I learned from NMAI and good readers.


Week to week, I usually only fix typos, edit for minor bits of clarity, etc.


However, once I got five books in...I knew I'd improved as a writer, so started doing full rewrites so that people starting out didn't get turned off by the write I was five years ago. :/


I am refusing to rewrite any of my two hiatused serials until they are finished.


and THEN i will rewrite the whole damn thing from scratch!