What is more difficult, writing a new story or re-writing an old story?

Davao, Philippines
February 17, 2013 7:04pm CST
I have three stories that I had started writing when I was still in grade school and a dozen more left unwritten but had their own plots. But I ended up not finishing them all when I reached college...and forgot about them. In their place are a lot of books. And I really mean A LOT. So now as I was looking into my past things and I stumbled upon my unfinished stories. I also found their soft copies. When I read the last two I had made, I just had to re-write them. I felt it pumping in my blood, urging me to change them for reasons that sorted from how bad my grammar is--was--to how bad of a writer I was but I have a potential in creating a good plot--I just didn't know how to express them best. But upon facing my computer, with all the resources I needed (resources that ranges from books to food), I am at a blank. If I try to write a new one on a new document, I still am at a blank. So, now, I come at a dead end. Which is more difficult to accomplish in a limited time, writing a new story or re-writing an old one but you had to fill it with new plots?
6 people like this
15 responses
@bellis716 (4806)
• United States
18 Feb 13
While contemplating your question, it reminded me of a dressmaking problem. Sometimes making a new dress can be easier than altering an old one. It depends on the amount of alterations needed on the old dress. I believe the same principal applies to your stories. If only a few alterations are needed to update your old story, that would be easiest. However, if it needs a major overhaul, starting afresh might be easier.
4 people like this
• Davao, Philippines
18 Feb 13
Oh, I am typing it all over again alright, with the hard copy right in front of me. This one story I am looking at have very bad grammar that I almost cried when I read it. The development of the story is too fast for my taste that's why I'm inserting and removing certain twists and turns as I wade my way around it. Maybe it's safe to say I am re-writing it allover again. Re-writing is not new to me anymore seeing that I did so years ago despite that I've already written 200 pages of my other story--just because I got bored. But back then I wrote it on paper and had a lot of time in my hands.
@marty3888 (2359)
• United States
18 Feb 13
I hate re-writing and I tend to not do them. I got so excited about coming up with new ones that I would just start new ones. By the way, I'm using the past tense because I have not done any writing in years but I'm getting that itch. Anyway, my answer is, writing new ones.
2 people like this
• Davao, Philippines
18 Feb 13
I never really write anymore these days. I just read quite a lot. But seeing my unfinished stories encouraged me to continue them until I put an end to them. But I just had to edit them and re-write them as I go along.
@marty3888 (2359)
• United States
21 Feb 13
That was me, too. I wouldn't write a full story, then do rewrites, which is what I always thought you were supposed to do, but I would do rewrites as I was writing it the first time. So as far as you and me were concerned, maybe we both were doing rewrites.
• Davao, Philippines
23 Feb 13
This time I really wish to put an end to my first three stories. They were almost a decade old already. And I wish to sell them. Aside for wishing to have a capital upon my graduation, I wish people would recognize me as a writer as was my long ago wish. Have you ever dreamed to become a writer before?
@leeandrew (1226)
• Philippines
18 Feb 13
Both I think. hahaha! I just posted a link post on my blog some minutes ago and I have re-read and re-typed and re-arrange my sentence because of the links. I have hard time composing a paragraph and re-typing it made it more harder. But I think it doesn't really matter when you are inspired co's ideas and words keeps on coming.
2 people like this
• Davao, Philippines
18 Feb 13
I seem to be in a blank whenever I type directly in front of the computer unless it's MyLotting. I had to force words and correct grammar on my current story and had to re-read them repeatedly from the top to the last just to make sure I did it right. But whenever I do, I feel like I'm reading Teresa Medeiros' pocketbooks instead. And that's not good for me. Because despite the correct grammar, I find it difficult to move from one paragraph to another without reading the previous a hundred first before really understanding it. Inspired or not, I found re-writing this particular story of mine currently in front of me a challenge that I couldn't seem to enjoy.
• Philippines
18 Feb 13
I understand how you feel. I started drawing when I was 6 and started my first comic when I was 12 years old but it's just short ones. I started drawing and making stories comics when I was 13 years old and have made 5 story plot for over 4 years but I wasn't able to draw all of it. When I look back at my first comic and re-read the plot it was so lame and I've been trying to change the whole plot which I really did with a little bit of inspiration and now I'm just in the same situation as you are. I've no idea what to do with the next plot. If you suddenly come up with a good plot for you old story or new story write them down immediately. Trust me on this one, if you don't write it down the adrenaline-like feeling is gonna run out. Been there, done that. Just try to make sure you can finish your old story and try to ask someone to read it,it helps a lot especially if that person can suggest or can give some positive feedback.
1 person likes this
• Davao, Philippines
20 Feb 13
Midtern Beginning - "It's the third time I drew something for my program's bulletin board. I wasn't able to get the other two because I was not able to get a scan of them from the dean's secretary-to who I submit my works. Anyway, I hope you'll enjoy!
The texts here are in Filipino. I can get you an English version of what they're talking about if you want. That is, if you want. ^^
Hope you enjoy, actually this is the third time in my life that I tried making a short comic story."--taken from my deviantart account.
I was looking for sites where I can post my works and was given some links. However, since I am not yet finished with my editing, I haven't posted anything yet. Something holds me back from posting just one chapter at a time with good reason. I am considering posting in MyLot the parts of my chapter one to three, though, thanks to the post made by another user above. Yeah, whenever I have inspiration I do write them down. At least I did so before I stopped writing. I saw my notes in my old things but I can't understand what I want done for my story/s now that I read them. It was like having amnesia in concern to my stories: the feeling of nostalgia and knowing that the penmanship is mine but not the creation of the plot. I hope you have the best of luck with your comics. Lord only knows, I am not patient enough for comic drawing although I would want to be a mangaka.
• Philippines
20 Feb 13
Thanks for the response, I'm not sure for other writers out there but the best way to get your inspiration to write is actually try to remember how you got your inspiration. I usually got them either listening to music which reminds me of my story or watching shows anything related to my story that gives me the energy to draw again. It's difficult to be a mangaka especially if you are the one making the story at the same time drawing them. I helps a lot when my friends keeps supporting me. I hope those people will have someone who can support them.
• Davao, Philippines
23 Feb 13
I found where I got my inspiration. That much I can remember. But not how I came up with the plot I'm faced with now. But then, I realized how detailed I was before especially with my research sources. It was like seeing my younger self in a stranger's eyes. It really is difficult for comic artists to draw at the same time construct the plot. Yes, you really need your friends and family to support you in this kind of profession--even if you're not going for professionalism, you still need some kind of support. Heck, those mangaka's need their fans to give them some reviews of their own, how much more for a person who does this as a hobby? From what I know in the manga (or comics) world, mangakas'(comic artists) have their editors to consult with first before proceeding to really draw their story. My advice is to find yourself an editor who really knows what people want and how to improve your comics. Editors must be able to work closely with the comic artists. The following are things that I know what's happening with a comic artist and his/her works. Phase 1: Create the story sketch using either a flow chart or just write it in paragraph. Characters' personality are created in this stage. If the story is quite long, then it divided in chapters/volumes. Phase 2: Draw the comics in sticks and circles first. All the while consulting with the editor for possible changes. If the comic is supposed to be released in volumes, editors must really see the plot and how the artist is going to draw the manga to go with the plot. Phase 3: When approved, the artist then must proceed with designing the characters' looks. I think it is optional to consult with the editor on this stage. Phase 4: Proceed with drawing the comics. Mangaka's have deadlines and they need assistants with them or a babysitter to watch over them. If I made a mistake do please correct me. But I hope this helps a bit!
• Philippines
19 Feb 13
For me, I'm redoing the old one. I guess it is more convenience since there are already some elements in place and you only need a new perspective on how to treat them. I'm the type who obsess over details so making a complete new one is like doing the whole rigorous process again. Sometimes, you can create a new story or a new idea can breathe a new life into an old story.
1 person likes this
• Davao, Philippines
20 Feb 13
I agree. As I've already mentioned in my one post here, I had experienced re-writing one of my stories. And yes, by creating a new twist to the plot, I felt like the world my characters lived in seems more real than before. It had better detail and my readers (my classmates) were able to understand it better.
@blackrusty (3532)
• Mexico
18 Feb 13
I have taken my pen to hand a few times in my life and I have always found it much harder to re write as you have to do a lot of searching for the right word to use plus for the most part come of with the same meaning but in a better worded way. I do wish you the best of luck no matter which way you decide to go
1 person likes this
• Davao, Philippines
20 Feb 13
I would have to say "Thank God for the internet" to that! Before I had to rely on my dictionary and thesaurus to get the better words to use and they're both books because I go to school. They add up to the weight of my already bulging bag everyday--my elementary and high school days are filled with torture from carrying weights to the lessons that I just have to say "mental abuse to humans"; most of them I deem are just unnecessary. My resources had been my school's library books and some are done at home using the internet whenever I'm at home. I learned to love the internet since I first got it because of the information I can get. But in creative writing, I have to hand it to my mom's pocketbook collection that I am reading ever since grade 5. I have re-written one of my stories in the past for couple of times and I've got to say, I don't think it was easy for my hand. Although I did enjoy it. But I remember hesitating for a while because the story is nearing its one hundred pages. Now that I am repeating the same thing, and now that I think I know how to write better, I am in a pinch. And I am really considering creating a new story this time and forget this script in front of me.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
18 Feb 13
I guess you have not moved much, because me I have moved so much that the stories I originally wrote are no longer there. I would think that since your mind is a blank when facing the computer or typewriter, for you rewriting the stories that you have on hand would be easier for you. The point is to start a new story or a novel, you have to have the idea in your hand before turning on the computer, facing the keyboard, etc. As for new plots, the one thing that helped me was , "what if?" That is the secret.
• Davao, Philippines
20 Feb 13
Indeed. This writing is very much similar to programming where I had to make the algorithm first, then write the codes and encode them. I was used to just let the ideas pop into my head whenever I see a blank screen, a blank paper or a blank sketchpad. I always have. It's just that re-writing after so long like four years just gave me a culture shock, I guess. I'll try getting myself a pad paper and pencil first to sketch the plot and then start the beginning without encoding it to the computer first, I think. If I remember correctly, I used to write my stories in school in between subjects or whenever the teacher's not present in class and encode them whenever I reach home.
@ptrikha_2 (8284)
• India
18 Feb 13
May be you can try writing a new story, with a few ideas thrown out from your old script(s). Or, just put some focus and re-write older stories. I think at times, re-writing something older could be tougher, because we have to modify the plot to still keep original ideas and also make most of it look fresh. Or, may be you can post some of it on Mylot and take people's help here?
• Davao, Philippines
20 Feb 13
Good idea! But in order to do that I would have to plot a flow chart of events. I'm more of a planner now. I realized that not plotting my stories' events would lead me to not ending them at all. lol. As for posting my stories in MyLot, I don't think it's possible. One story alone consists of at least a hundred pages. Although it can be divided by chapters, the content of each is too long, I think. I can, though, divide each chapter to parts. But the story won't make anymore sense if I do that. However, if I stick to how I was writing before, I may post them here: Each chapter would only consist of a few hundred words and I can just combine them later if I want them under one chapter in my word processor.
@joliefille (3696)
• Philippines
18 Feb 13
I had stories which I wrote in high school but I don't have the copies anymore. I am sure I would find some things I would need to correct in it grammar-wise. Also since I've experienced more things and know more than I did at the time then I am sure I would have a lot of ideas which I find better suited to the stories. It's more difficult for me to create another story than rewrite the old one. But it really depends on what kind of story I would need to rewrite or what I can come up with.
1 person likes this
• Davao, Philippines
20 Feb 13
I would like to say that you are the writer of your own story so it's impossible for you to forget about it. But I can't because I can't even remember the contents of the stories I found. Even when I re-read them, they still surprises me. Aside for memories of writing those and my signature in every page, I wouldn't have believed I am capable of creating them.
@bellis716 (4806)
• United States
19 Feb 13
Whether you get your old stories rewritten or not, you've certainly generated a lot of interest on MyLot. Good Job!
• Davao, Philippines
20 Feb 13
Well, what can I say? I have a lot of things in my mind. And that also means, I am interested in a lot of things. And I am already enjoying life right now, so I wish to explore every aspect of knowledge life can give me.
@bellis716 (4806)
• United States
21 Feb 13
You sound like an interesting person.
@sender621 (14956)
• United States
19 Feb 13
I find it so much easier to write a new story. The ideas fresh and new in your mind. I think that re-writing an old story can be much more difficult. The story is there but maling some new and refreshing from it can not always be a task that comes easily without making the story the same as it was before.
• Davao, Philippines
20 Feb 13
Reading people's responses from the top to here really makes me consider throwing my old script in the garbage bin. And the bin happens to be sitting just right behind me. Because I too think the same way, creating a new story is easier than re-writing.
18 Feb 13
According to my opinion rewriting an old story is more difficult than a new story,because of you have to keep a lot of different things in mind related to an old story,where as ,in new story everything will be new,you need not to keep previous story in mind.
• Davao, Philippines
20 Feb 13
I thought of that as well. However, to add to that, one couldn't ignore the fact that in writing new stories, the beginning of the story is the most difficult to be done with. Then there's the planning of the middle and the end. Whereas just re-writing a script, at least the plot is already made and had the beginning, middle and the end.
• India
20 Feb 13
For me, re-writing an old story is more difficult tha writing new one. Anyway, if someone is enjoying of writing then there is no matter on any of these two options.
@Jul14nch0 (1414)
• Argentina
20 Feb 13
I think you should first re-write your old stories. Maybe my opinion is because I don't like to leave things unfinished, but I believe that if you like the idea you had for the plot of these stories then you should give it another harder try and re-write them . Good luck with it!
@tyleremy (170)
• China
20 Feb 13
Hi,rose! In my opinion,wrting a new story definately is better than re-writing an old stroy.I know you are in blank,but wouldn't you agree that you could kinda stuck in the old pattern?a new story means you could write anything you want with the new story even if you are blank at the moment.Hope it helps!