Rewriting older works

So my current work in progress is coming to an end in the next couple months and then I'll probably be taking a hiatus to plot the next volume. In the meantime, to keep the writing skills sharp, I was thinking of going back and rewriting my first two efforts at Superstition. It was some of my first writing and I think my regular readers will tell you I've grown a lot as an author since then.


I'm writing to ask the following questions:


1. Is it worth it to go back and rewrite older works?


2. If I do rewrite, should I repost the work? Or should I offer the revised edition for sale as a PDF? Some combination of the two?


In general, I figure it'll be a lot quicker through this time, since the story is written. It's really a matter of editing and cleaning up a lot of the infodump/messy purple prose of the first draft.


I appreciate any thoughts.


Your older works will always have worth to go back to. It's never bad to re-write them. It's part of the growth of a writer. It's all part of the training process.


What H-M Brown said x 10.


AS for whether to post or sell the re-writes, that depends on how you feel about the rewritten story, and on your readers. You might want to ask them if any of them are interested in a pdf/ebook of the rewrite, and if so, what sort of price range they'd pay, before you go through the effort of converting the files.


The re-write could take longer than you think. Maybe not if all you're doing is *just* cleaning up the prose, but if you find yourself re-splicing the plot or characters at all to improve the story itself, that can take almost as much work as the original (just ask Meilin Miranda!).


Tolkien did it with the Hobbit, so why not?


I too say that it's never bad to rewrite, even in media res. Geez. People actually want to buy your stuff? Rockstars off the stage already!


I've got a medical thriller with a lot of character arcing that I shopped around New York about 10 years ago. I'm an anesthesia and anti-aging doc that is considering serializing my 500 page beast - it'll need a lot of rewriting - I was too close to the material (read too autobiographical) - and had a hard time being as brave as I needed to be.

I actually love to write - kind of forgot how much I love to write - until I began journaling to stay sane.

Glad you guys are around.


Ditto on the "don't be surprised if the re-write takes as long as the original".


We've found that sometimes it actually takes longer, because our standards are higher.


By the time I'd gotten to the end of Mirrorheart (my second book), I'd found that my writing had taken several quantum leaps past where I had begun rougly twelve months before. It was...kind of embarrassing to look back on the old stuff, and realise that people were probably going to be turned off by the first few chapters and not read to the point where my writing started to evolve for the better (which was kind of a silly thought since I had a decent readership at the time, who were hanging in there, even if they'd read through my crappy stuff).


Still, I was extremely dissatisfied with it, so I knew I had to rewrite it, but I didn't want to leave the old one up (which I was told was a mistake by a few people, and in hindsight I sort-of agree, yet still can't bring myself to release the PDF of Mirrorfall Mark 1.0).


So essentially, I stripped the site of content and started again. The Reboot. Went back through, stripped out bad sub-plots, made it more focused, expanded on some of the world details that I felt I had skimped on the first time through, and added about 20k to my wordcount by the time I was through. After that, I was very satisfied with it, and started on the rewrite for Mirrorheart, which was more of a edit/slight expansion than the complete rewrite I was doing for MF.


It took a year for both of the rewrites, but it was a year well-spent.