Thursday, April 21, 2016

R is for Revisit

This year for the A-Z Challenge, I'm attempting to act like I know what I'm talking about and offering advice about writing.  Let's see how I do!

Also, don't forget to stop by the Parallels blog to see more posts about the upcoming anthology, which will be available on May 3rd!

There are times when we have a great story idea, but we can’t seem to get it to work on paper.  We write and write, but despite our best efforts, the story simply isn’t turning out the way we wanted it.  It can be frustrating, and part of you may want to toss the entire thing in the metaphorical garbage.  Or maybe you want to keep going with it in the hope something will change and the story will start cooperating with you.

I’m here to tell you that there’s a third option.  You can set the story aside and move on to something else.  This is not the same as giving up.  If you put the story away, you can come back to it later.  Maybe something several months down the line will inspire you, and you’ll be able to look at this sidelined story with fresh eyes and a renewed enthusiasm.

Revisiting something later on can also be valuable for stories that you have finished.  Maybe you tried to get it published and were unsuccessful.  Time can give you the distance you need to see what needs to be done to strengthen the story.


  1. I love sleeping over a draft and looking over it fresh in a day or two.. sometimes better ideas just come through.
    #AtoZChallenge - R is for Reflux

  2. I have an entire folder brimming with projects that need revisiting. Sometimes it takes years for the right scene, middle or ending to pop into my head, but eventualy it does. I often wonder what my subconscious would do if I didn't have all those random projects to ponder behind the scenes.

  3. Setting it aside is a good thing, can't make it worse. :)

  4. Laying a story to rest and then coming back to it is a good idea. You might find something that might be wrong with it when you come back to a story with fresh eyes. I'm in that stage where I got stuck in the middle of a story that never felt right to me. It's been a month since I tackled that story. I feel like I'm ready to try it again, telling a different story than what I intended.

    G. R. McNeese from
    Project Blacklight

  5. Sometimes it's a good idea to set something aside and come back to it later. You may be able to look at it with fresh eyes and think of things you couldn't before.

  6. Sometimes when I'm stuck, I take a quick nap. When I get back to the writing, something clears up and I can go on. Even while a story has been put aside for a long period of time something is percolating in a writer's subconscious that magically appears when the writing is revisited.
    Thoughts While Walking the Dog

  7. I'm stopping by after our #azchat on twitter to say hi, check out your blog and follow you on GFC. Definitely a good idea to "revisit" because the ideas need time to percolate... Maui Jungalow

  8. I've revisited older stories from time to time, but not often. Usually, I have too many new ones clamoring to get out.

  9. Shelving a story idea that isn't quite working and revisiting it later is a great way to recycle. Personally, I've found recycled characters cropping up when I least expect it--one's that I worked with in different, earlier stories and set aside, only to reuse the characteristics and mannerisms in another novel. And you're right--it's much more rewarding that just quitting on it and throwing it away. :-)
    Thanks for sharing, and Happy A to Zing!