Online edition vs. Physical edition

So here I am editing Mirrorfall and I've found myself in a quandary. Styles change over time, this much we all know - you could finish a book a better writer than you started it. This happened for me (I can see a marked improvement about every 25 chapters) - I also started off at 500 words/day, then about 2/3 of the way through, shifted to longer form.

I would love to sit here and rewrite at least the first 25 (make them longer, put in more detail, etc), but I know they need to bear at least a passing resemblance to the chapters online.

I guess it's the same deal for webcomiccers - they may dislike their early stuff, but they don't go back and redraw everything, they let their evolution shine for itself.

Basic editing, of course I'll do (and so will the paid editor), but I'm talking about adding scenes, deleting scenes, and say...making a 500-word chapter into a 1k chapter.

What have you done? What would you do? o_o

What I did when I got a contract for Empathy was simply edit the whole thing and rewrite where necessary. No sense being coy about it. If it's still the same plot-wise and doesn't require a re-read to keep following the story, there's really no problem with redoing your online work.



Crush the past, tear it to pieces, create it anew as you rebuild the ramshackle old neighborhoods of your fiction into gleaming black towers of literature. Should old fans want the old stuff, save it and put it in a separate section as if it were a museum exhibit. So you've got the new edition of your work, improved and all, and you've got the "classic" version that your old school frothing lunatics can continue to wallow in as they disdainfully hold your new work at arm's length and make comments about "selling out." This also means you'll have extra material on your site for people to read should they want more right then and there and can't wait for an update.

It's just like Coca-Cola. New Writing, new flavor, and Writing Classic, for that old taste you love.

Okies ^_^ I shall be merciless!

I just rewrote chapter 3 (by which, I mean I added 1000 words to it)... O_O It feels like a real chapter now! ^_^

I was planning on rewriting Mutants for the print edition simply as more incentive to buy it since there will probably be a few extra chapters and some of them will probably be lengthened.

If they want the original work, it's still on the web after all.

I've seen webcomickers redo early strips, especially when publishing collections, and most interesting is when they leave links to the original versions so readers can see the evolution of style.

Something I'd like to get some opinions on though...

The first "season" of GGR is drawing to a close on August 22nd and we're toying with having Melly adopt a more professional writing style for the fall to reflect her growth as a character (no pun intended). Mostly she'd stop using the triple-exclamation and some of her abbreviations, which we adopted to reflect her personality and make the online writing seem less formal than it would be if it were appearing in a book, and for which we've received more negative comments than positive ones. This would be an in-story change which Melly would explain to readers as being encouraged by her academic tutor.

Good idea? Bad idea?

I really want it to be ready for when I sew the entire story together into a single book.

I have added/changed very little in the first volume of the story that's been released. I'm working on a volume of the collected bonus stories that will see quite a few changes.

I actually had the same problem in reverse with Losing Latitude because the print versions came out first, then the online version. I made the changes, lots of them in the first two episodes. They didn't effect the plot, but certainly improved the prose.

I used to worry about this stuff too, but I've found reader's don't care. They want the best prose/story possible. You don't even have to explain it. Just do it. As long as it's better than it used to be, readers will be happy with it.