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Davis Ashura
January 21st, 2004, 08:43 AM
I finished my first book about a month ago, and I still haven't gotten around to re-reading it yet. How long do people usually wait before going back to look at their work so that it's fresh again?

January 21st, 2004, 09:03 AM
I don't really have any specific time, but just to give you an example: I wrote a NaNoWriMo novel during November of last year, but even though I had my 50000 words in I wasn't finished so I continued to write into December. In January I started another novel for NaNoWriYe, and left my other novel. In February, I'll be looking at my first novel again, reread it, and get back to doing that.

January 21st, 2004, 02:17 PM
Well, I finished my first book last January (the first draft anyway ;) ) and left it for a couple of weeks and plunged into book two. That helped freshen my thoughts and now I am writing book two whilst continuing my rewrite of book one.
For me, the only time I will consider any book "finished" will be the day it is published :)

January 21st, 2004, 08:55 PM
I must have read it a dozen times over 5 years--but the longest period in the actual writing phase was after 6 months(and boy what a difference it makes). With my short stories its really annoying--because I will find all sorts of little things and think: what the hell was I thinking when I used that word? etc..

After I "finished" my book--about a year later I reread it again--and only found about 30 things I would change (just word choices--and only one was in dialogue).

January 22nd, 2004, 11:50 PM
Gosh, I finished my first book (still unpublished) back in '96. I set it aside for about 2 years and stopped writing due to the intensity of my job at the time. In '98 I picked it up again and re-read and re-wrote a lot of it, again, and again, and again. I've read it probably 20-25 times todate. By spending so much time on that book, I was able to write books 2, 3 and 4 in about a months time each (and I still need to re-read and re-write them). When I get into a slumb, I've found that re-reading helps me out of that slump.

Recently I've gotten into writing short stories and I'm hoping to sell one or two to build my credibility as a writer as I've had a goo dnumber of rejections and I can only assume that either everyone is too busy to read it, it sucks big time or it's because I am a brand new writer to the scene. Re-reading and editing a short story takes far less time than a book, but it's always nice to go back to the books and edit a chapter here and a chapter there. After writing several short stories, it's amazing how my style has changed.


January 23rd, 2004, 11:30 AM
I personally, don't think that people should leave a work unattended more than 4-6 weeks. That should be ample time for you to read, learn something new, and come at it with a fresh mind. Meanwhile, you should be writing something. To a certain extent, I hate editing because I could only go over something so many times before I get sick of it. On the other hand, I like going over it if it's good and I get sucked in back in my story.

James Barclay
January 25th, 2004, 04:11 PM
I write a book a year. I read as I go very often to make sure that I am on the right track, that I have the chronology right, that it is credible within its parameters and that I haven't started a thread that disappears.

And when I have finished to what I believe to be my satisfaction, I print it out and begin reading it the next day. This has nothing to do with a 'fresh' eye. I believe a writer will always be too close to a work for that to be possible. But I will have gained impressions about sequences, characters, battles, whatever, and I need to know those are justified. If not, there is more work to be done. I cannot afford the delay.

I think writers should keep a close eye on where they are and how they are writing so a combination of constant scanning and immediate full read on completion work for me.

Why would you wait longer? If you are going to learn something in six weeks that might change how you have written a book then perhaps you didn't know what you wanted to write before you started... just a thought.

January 27th, 2004, 02:02 PM
When writing my first two books, I would often put them down and not get back to them until I felt like it. After initial draft, it could sit for a few weeks, or as much as 2 years once before I felt compelled to sit and work it again. It has to be fun for me, I have to want to do it. Sometimes, other things just kept me more busy and engaged than my writing. Once into the writing, it could be tough to stop again.

James Barclay
January 28th, 2004, 03:58 PM
I suppose what I'm getting at is that thre has to come a point where you put the book down, knowing you aren't going to improve it to any significant degree.

You can keep on nagging at the margins of a book forever and never move onto the next project.

I'm not saying never, ever go back. Just that in your mind you have to know that for the forseeable future, reading and reediting will move you nowhere. If, when you come back after years with a genuinely fresh perspective that will move the story to a publishable status, then of course, it is worth the work.

Otherwise, use it to learn from and write something new.

Isn't it amazing how writing these posts you can sound so wise but when it's your work you feel so inadequate?


January 29th, 2004, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by NOM
Isn't it amazing how writing these posts you can sound so wise but when it's your work you feel so inadequate?


How true, I know when I read your work I feel inadequate... :D