Re: Restarted writing a dropped story. Should I rewrite first few chapters, or go on?

#1
I've been trying to improve my writing ability for a few months at my last fiction(Six Seals) and wrote it all the way to the chapter 7, then dropped it. After several months, to be exact two months ago, I picked it up again and started from the chapter 7 and now I'm continuing to write. Yet, my first seven chapters are like how a generic wuxia is, a boy with low background entering into a big sect meeting with a mentor guy who is fond of him and so on. To cut to the chase, I see a large drop of views after the first few chapters and without any feedback on my writing and story, I can't really find a fault or flaw within it other than reviewing it myself(Including grammar and plot holes)

So I'm wondering, should I rewrite the first chapters again and make it easier for people to get hooked up(If I can do it, of course.) Or go on with my current pace and hope that a few people that likes how it developed will increase over time.

I'm also really eager for some feedback since I'm not even sure if there is any improvement or not.

Thanks

Re: Restarted writing a dropped story. Should I rewrite first few chapters, or go on?

#2
Keep going. I'm not fond of my first 20 chapters and struggle daily not to go back and redo them. The most important thing in writing, I believe anyway, is to keep writing until the very end. You should know a rough idea of how the story will end and just keep writing until you get there. After that, if you want to go back and fix up the beginning, do a redux version or modify it to fit your current writing style. 

It's a trap to go back and rewrite. It breeds a cycle that will never end because you will always be improving your writing. Finish your story instead, leave its warts but learn from them.

Regarding viewers, if you're writing a story for them, then there's a bigger problem here that needs to be addressed. In my simple opinion, you should be writing to tell the story you want to tell, as you see it. People will throw opinions of it at you, you might even agree with some of them and take them into the story, but the course of the story should not change from start to finish. It's your vision, your world, your story. If people don't like it, keep writing anyway. You should be writing because you enjoy building the world and telling the tale you see in it, not because you want others to like your words (there's twitter for that). You'll never finish a story if all you think about is whether people will like where the story is going.

Now to contradict myself. It is important that your story flows, is understandable, is grammatically sound (something I suck at), and is understandable to people other than yourself. There should be a structure in your writing, like self-imposed rules, that everyone can follow. Otherwise, no one but you will ever know what's going on. If you feel the first seven chapters fall into the above, then yes, do the rewrite.

Hope this helps.

Re: Restarted writing a dropped story. Should I rewrite first few chapters, or go on?

#3
Raskaro Wrote: I've been trying to improve my writing ability for a few months at my last fiction(Six Seals) and wrote it all the way to the chapter 7, then dropped it. After several months, to be exact two months ago, I picked it up again and started from the chapter 7 and now I'm continuing to write. Yet, my first seven chapters are like how a generic wuxia is, a boy with low background entering into a big sect meeting with a mentor guy who is fond of him and so on. To cut to the chase, I see a large drop of views after the first few chapters and without any feedback on my writing and story, I can't really find a fault or flaw within it other than reviewing it myself(Including grammar and plot holes)

So I'm wondering, should I rewrite the first chapters again and make it easier for people to get hooked up(If I can do it, of course.) Or go on with my current pace and hope that a few people that likes how it developed will increase over time.

I'm also really eager for some feedback since I'm not even sure if there is any improvement or not.

Thanks


Imo, it pays off to Put as much work as possible in the first chapter. Studies show that people decide to read or not based on the first 600 words or so. Obviously, on the site like this, people click on your current chapters as well, so prettymuch every chapter has to be your first one. We live in the world of a cutthroat competition for the reader.

Re: Restarted writing a dropped story. Should I rewrite first few chapters, or go on?

#4
Since you dropped it before, I say plow ahead. If you try to rewrite the first chapters, and then edit them to satisfaction there's no guarantee you'll even like the result. Therefore its better to write ahead. Unless you really want to, but you wouldn't be asking this if you had a burning desire to rewrite the first chapters - you'd just do it.

That said, I had a quick look at your chapter 0 and then at chapter 17. Chapter 0 is not bad. However, the flow is stilted. Comparing it to 17, its immediately apparent how you've improved, but there are still times when the flow... hick-ups.

For example, in ch 17 "At the same time came Gaobun, donned in his trainee robe colored blue and white. ". That's not how you use donned, and its awkward. You'd say "At the same time came Gaobun, donning his blue and white trainee robes. " (you could also say "was donned in" or "who had donned") Or better yet, separate it and use it to characterise the feller. "At the same time came Gaobun, donning his trainee robes. The blue and white cloth was pristine, though his sash was inside out. ".

As for the actual story telling, I think its good. And I don't care if its generic as long as the characters are thicker than cellophane, which they appear to be. Props for using a Churchill quote. I can't really tell if I'll like it, but I've marked it as read later.

Other than that I don't see big picture things that'd tell me why people would stop reading. If you want, have a look at the topic I posted a few minutes ago if you want to spend some time improving those early chapters without doing a full rewrite.

Re: Restarted writing a dropped story. Should I rewrite first few chapters, or go on?

#5
LittleSettler Wrote: Since you dropped it before, I say plow ahead. If you try to rewrite the first chapters, and then edit them to satisfaction there's no guarantee you'll even like the result. Therefore its better to write ahead. Unless you really want to, but you wouldn't be asking this if you had a burning desire to rewrite the first chapters - you'd just do it.

That said, I had a quick look at your chapter 0 and then at chapter 17. Chapter 0 is not bad. However, the flow is stilted. Comparing it to 17, its immediately apparent how you've improved, but there are still times when the flow... hick-ups.

For example, in ch 17 "At the same time came Gaobun, donned in his trainee robe colored blue and white. ". That's not how you use donned, and its awkward. You'd say "At the same time came Gaobun, donning his blue and white trainee robes. " (you could also say "was donned in" or "who had donned") Or better yet, separate it and use it to characterise the feller. "At the same time came Gaobun, donning his trainee robes. The blue and white cloth was pristine, though his sash was inside out. ".

As for the actual story telling, I think its good. And I don't care if its generic as long as the characters are thicker than cellophane, which they appear to be. Props for using a Churchill quote. I can't really tell if I'll like it, but I've marked it as read later.

Other than that I don't see big picture things that'd tell me why people would stop reading. If you want, have a look at the topic I posted a few minutes ago if you want to spend some time improving those early chapters without doing a full rewrite.


I really just started to read some books about writing and how to use words and I just saw your advice on donning as well. I will be more careful from now on on that and other words. I'm really grateful.

Re: Restarted writing a dropped story. Should I rewrite first few chapters, or go on?

#6
Something I generally do that has helped me a lot is that ill write 5-10 chapters and then go back and do an edit of them.
Since I get to see the characters and how they developed in the 30-50 pages I have a lot more information to go off of on 
character developement and world building. Also since it is so much of a learning experience what I finished with on the 10th
chapter is different than the first.