Thursday, August 11, 2011


The other day I was looking through a bunch of old papers. Carefully tucked away in an old blue folder, I discovered my very first attempt at a novel, which I wrote when I was 17.  There were 36 typewritten pages, I don't remember if I used our first computer or our old typewriter (yikes!), and a whole legal pad of handwritten pages.  I couldn't believe that I still had this first manuscript.  I figured with all of our moving around it was simply gone.   I excitedly sat down to read it.

I wasn't exactly thrilled with my prose, but reading through the ideas I had held as a teen was a flashback to my life at that time.  It jogged memories that I hadn't thought of in 20 years!  My daughter, Jessica,  who is about to finish her first novel, pleaded for me to type it all in to our computer so that she could read it.  (Kids these days have to read things on a computer!)  I told her I was a little embarrassed by how rough my writing was, but she said, "Mom, I'll help you fix it up and you can finally finish it." I wasn't too sure that I wanted to take the time to do that since I have so many other projects I'm working on.  But once I started typing it in, the story began to grow on me and I began to remember what I was thinking of at the time I had written each page.  It was incredible. So I've decided that even though the writing itself needs a ton of work the ideas can be used.  I'll finish typing it in so I'll always have that first copy and then I'll get down to the real work of totally rewriting it.

I'd love to hear if you regularly go back  and rework stories you've already written, or do you just start new?


You can check out Jessica's blog and her progress on her novel here: write skate dream

Well I'm off now to have one of my students take a skating test.  Wish her luck!


  1. I'm always reworking stuff and often finding places to plug them into a WIP. Did that just a couple weeks ago. Its great to plug and play short stories into a large MS.

  2. I agree! My story started out as a short story that I just added to whenever I was bored... that's NOT what it has turned into!!

  3. thats a fun discovery!
    i have started a bunch i'd like to work on but need to finish editing the big one first!

  4. I found my first attempt at non-fiction a few years ago, and broke out laughing when I read it. Hilarious!

  5. Stephen- I hope I can turn it into a large MS.

    Jess- I wish I could turn my boredom into a full novel!

    Tara- My problem is I start too many projects!

    Talli- I can't believe some of the passages I wrote, that at the time I thought were cool. I guess it's good to laugh at yourself now and then.