Happy March 1st. While technically still winter, my mind is already planning for warmer weather, walks in the sunshine, iced coffee. I’m ready to start cycling again as well. Hooray for spring.

It is also Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog time. You know the drill- Every writer is insecure from time to time and in need of some good support. The first Wednesday of each month (and all the time in our Facebook group, really) we gather to share our experiences, fears, doubts, achievements and successes. You can’t ask for a better group. Check us out here– Once you realize how amazing we are, you’ll want to participate.


This months question-Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Yes. Yes.

The end.

Okay, not really the end.

My first completed novel was written from a reworked story. I had the idea five years before I began writing it, and when I finally made the attempt, things did not go well at all. I wrote myself into a corner after ten pages. Frustrated, I left it alone for three more years.

When I decided I was tired of being the writer who had not yet written anything of substance, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, and my first inclination was to return to that old story. The same issues remained and time had not offered me a clear way out of them. I agonized over how to proceed. I didn’t want to scrap what I had written as I really liked it, and this story was my best hope for reaching the 50,000 word goal. The tone was right, and the voice as close to what was in my head as possible. I finally decided that this one moment was not worth any more agony, wrote three pages that felt satisfactory moved forward. After that, most of the story unfolded cleanly (but not painlessly, as a mountain of insecurity was still waiting for me). I’m still not sure my solution worked, and that particular chapter is one of my least favorite, but revisiting the old story paid off in the end. I am very proud of that book.

I’m trying it again with a flash piece which I felt would work well as a longer story. So far so good. I’m looking for another beta reader for that particular story, if anyone is interested.

Now, tell me what’s good with all of you…



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About fenster

There are some who call me, Tim?

17 responses to “IWSG-March”

  1. Liesbet says :

    I can only talk about reworking articles, which doesn’t sound nearly as difficult as reworking a story, let alone a whole book! I think you had the right approach for that one. Writing something is better than not trying to move on at all and it seemed to have helped you with the writer’s block. While I was/am writing my memoir, there are chapters that are less interesting to write for me, but I just jotted down my main thoughts and experiences in regards to the outline part I created way back and moved on to the next chapter. I will alter it (hopefully satisfactory) later.

    I will happily be your beta reader, if you’d like to send me the story you are talking about and working on now. And, let me know my deadline as well. 🙂

    • fenster says :

      Thanks for the offer! I think I have your email, and I will send over the story. I have no real deadline, but would like to submit the story sometimes after April. And again, good luck on getting that memoir together!

  2. C.D. Gallant-King says :

    yup, sometime you just need to muscle through (or skip altogether) a scene that’s not working and come back to it. Sometimes it will work itself out, sometimes you will find ideas in what comes after. Either way you don’t want to hold everything up because of a couple of pages.

    • fenster says :

      Agreed! Looking back, I’m super frustrated that I let one hiccup stop me. Then again, I think the book is stronger now then it would have been before.

  3. Christopher D. Votey says :

    One of the ways I overcome writer’s block is that I start over again with my story. My last book, I was halfway through after NaNo, hadn’t touched it in 4 months, but just couldn’t write anymore. So I opened a new document and started to write it all over again. I used my original as a starting point, and when I felt the need to write something else, I did so. It help inspired me where I was going with my story so I could finish it.

    • fenster says :

      That is a fun writing exercise. Back when I was at University, a writing professor had us do that very thing. Write a story, turn it into him, delete it from our files, then rewrite it. In most cases, the second work was stronger, more focused.

  4. ChrysFey says :

    As long as it paid off and you’re proud of it, that’s all that matters. 🙂

  5. Crystal Collier says :

    It hasn’t been winter around here for a long, LONG time. 😉

    Some stories need more subconscious space than others. I find if I start one and leave it alone for a while, I’ll come back and my brain has it all worked out. I just have to place my fingers over the keyboard and not resist. (With a general outline to keep me on track.) That is, until I get stumped and realize that I was forcing a direction, motivation, or plot point, and that I need to back off and let my subconscious take over.

    Here’s to working until it comes out right, eh?

    • fenster says :

      Indeed. That is such a hard place to get to, where I’m not resisting or trying to guide the work rather than letting it become. Still, I wish I didn’t let little blocks cause me to stumble so hard.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Alex J. Cavanaugh (@AlexJCavanaugh) says :

    That’s a good answer for when you’re stuck – just write anything to get the story moving and then go from there. Fix it later in editing.

  7. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor says :

    If I wasn’t going to have limited internet access over the next few months, I would happily beta read for you. Keep me in mind for a future story.

  8. jmh says :

    I’m so glad it worked out for you, even though it was difficult. Some people disparage NaNoWriMo (okay, a lot of people), but the kick in the pants it provides can be so helpful.

    Are we NaNo buddies yet? I don’t think we are, and I’d love to add you. I’m KickboxingWriter (big surprise).

    • fenster says :

      I’m sure I’ve got a user name on there somewhere, but as I never officially log my word count or my books, there is nothing to see. I should get on that for next year.

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