Re: Thoughts on authors 'updating' their stories after being published?

#2
Published ebooks and web fiction alike are very much into the "DLC patch" method of combatting certain minor story elements. But with the extra freedom web fiction gets, you can go even further and do bigger edits even years after completing a series. It's basically fine, as long as it doesn't become an excuse for authors to be sloppy and lazy the first time around.

Re: Thoughts on authors 'updating' their stories after being published?

#8
I've been writing for years and stuff I publish online is still littered with mistakes. I'm so grateful to have readers who help me out with the stuff that I'm too close to. That said, to date, I've only ever published my 3rd draft to free platforms and corrected spelling issues - but never bothered with extensive rewrites. No, the rewrites is for my 4th draft, and I'm considering making that exclusive to my patreon. 

Nothing in my overall plot has changed, even with the drafted revisions, it's all just execution of the ideas. I have bit in my story where it's clear to me, but clear as mud to the reader. Knowing which bits those are is super helpful, but doesn't change the plot (being a planner helps). 

My final professionally edited stuff is what get actually published as books. So, I feel that each sector of readers is getting the appropriate quality for their reading pleasure.

Re: Thoughts on authors 'updating' their stories after being published?

#9

tfisb Wrote: Since it is possible, pressure builds until it is mandatory.  RR needs a hardcore mode that makes revision impossible.
I do not agree with that. Noone is pressuring anybody. If an author feels pressured, it means that they know the work can be improved. If no edits are allowed, new autors and non-native autors who lack experience or proficient English skills are doomed to have less readers due to "low quality work". Why not edit out grammar mistakes or funny sentences/phrasing? Not everyone can afford a professional editor and often tips from the readers that point out mistakes are invaluable help.

Re: Thoughts on authors 'updating' their stories after being published?

#10
A big part of the reason to post to a free site like this is to get feedback and improve a story on the go. It's entirely expected that things will be improved upon as the writer gets better.
tfisb Wrote: Since it is possible, pressure builds until it is mandatory.  RR needs a hardcore mode that makes revision impossible.
Disagree. Plenty of popular stories don't bother going back to edit, so it's clearly not having that much impact. And for mid- or lower-tier writers, being able to improve is a major draw. It would be extra work to build in for no real purpose whatsoever. Anyone who wants to not make corrections can turn off comments and ignore reviews. You don't need a whole mode for that.

Re: Thoughts on authors 'updating' their stories after being published?

#11
That has always been general practice since I've been around web fiction. You tend to fix you mistakes because, majority of web fiction writers don't have editors who will sweep over their writing making it perfect. Even with writing out everything before hand. I still make mistakes. Certain sections of my story bother me even as I post them. Platforms make editing easy so why not edit when I get to a point when I can. I like to think of it as an updated edition.

Granted, this sort of thing isn't something I would do while actively posting and haven't completed something.. That kind of why I edit before I post to get rid of things I'm utterly unhappy with. Not to mention why I write short instead of writing something raw and ongoing to my 300+ chapter. The longer something gets with a weak foundation, the more the tower leans. And then you can't ignore than leaning tower forever. You have to address it and try to save it before it falls down.


tfisb Wrote: Since it is possible, pressure builds until it is mandatory.  RR needs a hardcore mode that makes revision impossible.


I don't feel pressure to edit anything. I will post a new edition of a story because I can. There is always something to improve, but even I have a cut off on how much improving I can do.

Also, editing is a skill a writer needs to learn how to do. Especially if you want to improve as a writer. No normal writer can write a perfect draft unless they are very well practiced.

Now, I'm certain some writers need a hardcore more to just learn to write and keep going because they can't turn off their inner editor. These are the kind of writer who won't finish a project because they are constantly backtracking and fixing things until they kill their motivation and abandon one project after another. I can see it may work for them because it forces them just to continue to write. However, this isn't an option for everyone.

Re: Thoughts on authors 'updating' their stories after being published?

#12
That is one of the advantages of web: you can fix mistakes.  My bookshelf is full of traditionally published novels (thus they had an editor), with significant errors.  People that are too tall for something that later are too short for the same thing.  People who have brown hair in one scene and red much later.  People who had to have been in two very different places at the same time.   Web lets this be cleaned up, instead of some fans guide that the author responds to, just fix the book.

Just make sure that as an author you note the changes.  Someone who goes back to re-read it will otherwise go "wait a minute".  I'm glad authors can fix things overall.

Re: Thoughts on authors 'updating' their stories after being published?

#14
Trad pub generally goes through several revisions before publication, but web pub usually has about two. That's because web pub is pretty much an extended beta read. Some people treat it as an excuse to experiment, while others genuinely do edits to reflect later content. 

In trad novels, we can write a later scene, realize it needs more setup, and then go back to insert a scene in Act One, and no one knows it was a last minute change. If it's a web novel, you can only "hide" it if it's still within your unpublished buffer.