Ever look back?

>> Thursday, September 13, 2007

I did today, and ... **cringe**

A fellow writer posted a request for someone who spoke Portugese -- Brazilian Portugese, which is different than regular Portugese. My first novel was based in the Amazon Rain Forest, so long ago, I'd elicited the help of another writer's cousin to translate a few things for me.

In offering those translations to this other writer now, I went through that manuscript and found myself reading a passage here and there.

**double cringe**

It wasn't pretty. While I like the premise and the setting and the characters, it will have to be completely torn apart and created anew. I'll have to just take the kernels worth keeping and rebuild something completely different around them to make it work.

Do you ever look back? When/if you do, how do you feel about what you've written in the past?


spyscribbler 9:12 PM  

Oh, wow, MAJOR cringe.

Elisabeth Naughton 8:21 AM  

Um, yes. I've done this a few times. Even reworked one and am about to send it to my agent. I know writers who say never to look back, always move forward, but I think there are some stories that call to us so strongly, we won't ever be able to let go of them completely. We always have hope for them which is why we keep coming back to it.

Shirley Karr (who writes historicals for Avon) had a story just like this. A book she couldn't let go of. She kept coming back to it and reworking it and making it what she knew it could be. After several (lots) of revisions and years of rejections, it ended up being her debut novel from Avon.

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