Monday, November 3, 2008

What's Harder: Fresh New Or Refreshing Old?

A question for everyone out there in the land of the Blog, and it doesn't matter how you pursue your craft, be it for fun or profit.

What's harder for you to do: Writing fresh material or taking a previously written story and re-writing to make it more viable?

I'm of the opinion that it's much harder to take an old story, gut it, and re-write it into something more smoother, more coherent and more meatier.

I have a short story, which I posted here previously, that I'm in the process of gutting and re-writing, in order to make it more viable piece of prose. Right now I'm fleshing it out so as to create a chapbook, then I'll be taking that fleshed out story and use it as an outline for a book.

I'm finding it's a tortuously slow process trying to properly incorporate the current story with new writing.

On the other hand, writing fresh new stuff, I believe, is a bit easier to do. You're not working with any old writing, just with the basic idea concept.

For example: with the book version of this story, the basic idea was the wedding, reception and traveling to the honeymoon destination (in my eyes it was easily executed, simply because the the original story starts at the honeymoon motel). Even though it took me about six months to write (due to other commitments at the time of creation), it was relatively easy to bang out. Right now, the book is at a standstill, because I've written up to where the short story starts out.

In essence, I believe it's harder to re-write than to just write.

What's your take on this?


  1. Hey George,

    It's me, TRUTH. I think I've been banned from Topix...again. I emailed them, since the worst thing I did was to imply that Age is an airhead. Not exactly a banning offense. But you know Topix, they're funny about that stuff.

    Great blog! I check it out a couple time a week.

    Anyway, I'll keep you posted (no pun intended) and let you know what the Topix gods decree.

    Keep all those people on their toes.


  2. I was really surprised that you got purged, because I really didn't see anything wrong.

    If you want, I have an addy at the bottom of my blog you can use to keep me posted.

    Just let me know who you is if you use it.

  3. Hey Guys!
    Listen, Truth, we need you back as soon as you can. Do whatever you have to, but come back quick. It's not as much fun without you, and now we have another fight on our hands. Lousy timing!!

  4. There's sweetness to both.

    On one hand, it's exciting to write fresh material. Just because it's not as predictable.

    But rewriting I think gets you into the meat of the story and characters come off more than just a cardboard cutout.

  5. @ pink ink: that is one way to look at it.

    Re-writing definitely gets you into the meat of the story, as it does force you to more fully develop the characters you created.

    Writing something fresh I still believe is the easiest thing to do, only because the story is never really finished. I think it acts more like an outline to something with more potential to it.

  6. I think re-writing the older stuff is harder for me.

    And I'm always scared nothing new will ever come up, but somehow it does.

  7. @ jannie: I remember from your blog that you write music.

    Would the same issues apply to writing music as it does writing short stories?

  8. Very interesting question....


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