Revisiting Older Manuscripts

Around this time last year, I was happily working on a manuscript when I came up with what I thought was an even better one. I immediately went to work on the new idea.

Now, I’ve pulled the first manuscript back out and am revisiting it, going over the plot and characters once more. With each new project, I become a better writer. At least, I’d like to think so. I’ve learned from past mistakes. I guess it’s why I’m going over this story so carefully before I start hammering out the words again. I’ve already noticed there are parts that have to go. And, with fresh eyes, I’ve come up with more ideas and twists.

Have you ever ditched one manuscript in favor of another? Have you ever gone back to the older manuscript with the intention of finishing it, or did you decid to trunk it forever and move on?


7 thoughts on “Revisiting Older Manuscripts

  1. I’m considering ditching one and moving to another right now. I have this thought evertime I come up with an idea I think is good enough to warrant a creative effort. I write and outline it a little, then file it away on the HDD for safe keeping until I complete my current projects and can move forward on something new.

  2. Yup, I’m guilty of this practice. Usually when I get stuck or find the going a bit of a slog on a project so that I can keep writing fun and at a certain level rather than agonising over each paragraph.

    I should just make notes and continue with the current one but I just can’t help it.

  3. I just did this myself. I put one ms on hold for NaNoWriMo. I worked through January, yes January, on my NaNoWriMo project. It has now been shelved and I’m working through the rewrite on my old ms. I feel that I’ve grown so much as a writer since I began this one. I’m enjoying the rewrite (as much as one can) and I’m finding that the new material is leaps and bounds above the original. It’s a lot of work with new elements and twists, but I’m excited about where it’s heading.

  4. I usually don’t get too far into the writing and then ditch…it’s either at the plotting stage or after I’ve written one or two scenes that I feel okay about setting certain projects aside. Sometimes I get something totally finished and drag on the edits…it’s way more fun for me to hammer out the original idea/storyline than edit.

  5. I kept working on my NaNo a couple days into December even though I realized around November 15 that it wasn’t working. I shelved it to work on the second PRT novel (which I had put aside for NaNo), which I finished the draft of but then shelved because the first one needed a complete re-write (again) if I really wanted to pursue those stories.

    Because I was so fried on those stories, I couldn’t fathom the idea of tackling PRETTY SOULS again. So, I went to work on my current WiP. In the midst of that draft, an opportunity came to my attention that I *might* be able to re-work my NaNo for. Now that I’m done with the rough draft of the new novel, I’m dusting off NaNo to see if I can work it.

    I don’t like to shelve stuff partway through, but sometimes it needs to be done.

  6. I don’t like shelving things either. I generally finish one before I start another. I’ll take notes, write snippets, but I don’t do much more than that.

    But, this last one just seemed so different and I couldn’t quit thinking about it. But, I’m back on track with the first book again and I’m hoping the time away has helped me iron out a few plot points.

  7. I’m too hopelessly compulsive to start a project without finishing the one I’m on. Although, that doesn’t mean I polish it. I just have to get that first draft done before I start something new.

    I have definitely taken out an old project and done major revisions on it, though. In fact, if I ever catch up with my writing, I’ve got an epic fantasy just waiting to be rewritten!


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