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I find no clear approach to learning how to write through publishing online so as to receive feedback and comments. Some writing is published as learning, then later may be either abandoned or revised. Sometimes you may want to delete or hide a story. You might revise and want to re-publish. How do you do this?

Take a story revision, you don't want to edit the existing story, this is a re-write, you don't want the old comments, they have served their purpose. You want new comments on a new revised second edition. You also want readers to see it is being republished. How do you do this?

I have seen, presumably complete stories, status changed to in process and the old reviews disappear. Do they come back when the new story is finished and marked complete. How does this mix of old and new work?

There is a straightforward route to publishing, pausing, abandoning, but no clear route to using a story to learn, getting feedback, revising and republishing?

 

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I'm not sure I understand what you are asking here.  If a story was a learning experience, then I wouldn't revise and republish.  I would take feedback from comments, etc, and apply them to something new.  Once the story is published, it is already told.  If there is a grievous error that embarrasses me to no end, then I would edit it for my peace of mind, but I'm not expecting anyone to re-read the entire thing after I hit the publish button for the first time.  

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I posted my first written work on here, and while I am quite proud of it, I would love to work with it some more. The sequel from the first has an editor, and I've learned a lot from him. I don't believe re-writing and republishing it would be the solution. I'd rather go back in each chapter, fix my novice mistakes (I started a shameful amount of sentences with the word 'and' which must be corrected at some point) with my editor and slap his name on it to give him credit. I've seen a couple of stories on GA do this and I believe that if the story's plot is good enough, it is worth a second reading as an edited piece. 

Hitting other points that Talo has mentioned, I don't believe I would ever attempt to hide a story on this site. I'm looking at this as an unprofessional writer, and that may be an issue to some, but I do view this site as a learning environment. Make a story and learn from your mistakes. If you want to make revisions, go for it. In regards to taking a story that is complete, but you want to completely change how the story is written (character personalities, plot changes, etc), I might recommend creating a new story with a warning in the description to let readers know your intentions (I'm looking at the Fullmetal Alchemist anime:  Fullmetal versus Brotherhood. There are plot differences, but worth watching both).

Side question:  changing the status of a story from 'complete' to 'in progress' deletes the reviews? If so, would it be recommended or considered unprofessional to make the edits while the story is listed as 'complete' in order to keep the reviews (provided that there are no reviews detailing how there were grammatical errors/story needs edits or revisions)?

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11 minutes ago, astone2292 said:

Side question:  changing the status of a story from 'complete' to 'in progress' deletes the reviews? If so, would it be recommended or considered unprofessional to make the edits while the story is listed as 'complete' in order to keep the reviews (provided that there are no reviews detailing how there were grammatical errors/story needs edits or revisions)?

I've never changed the status of a story, so I wouldn't know.  That might be an admin thing.  I know I've made minor revisions to a story marked as complete, and I wouldn't be willing to lose comments/reviews.  

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For an example of substantial revising while keeping the old comments and everything else associated with the original story, have a look at 

@WolfM or @Carlos Hazday (who helped with the revisions) might be able to talk you through what they did.

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Each site seems to do things differently.  On GA, I've seen chapters revised without destroying the comments, but also cases where a chapter was posted out of sequence and when it was withdrawn (I believe the term here is "unpublished"?), the comments were all lost.

One other big site (can't remember which at the moment; don't get old!) has a notice in its publishing procedures that they will be very unhappy with you if you decide to withdraw a story once they post it.  It appears that there is a lot of work involved in deleting something once published.  But I know other sites that list certain stories as "withdrawn from publication" because they were accepted for publication in print, and they seem chuffed about it, rather than annoyed.  So I guess a lot of this has to do with the software that runs the site.

 

Got so caught up in the above that I forgot my real post:  If I like your story at all, I tend to fall in love with it as you originally wrote it, flaws and all.  I wouldn't object to tidying it up (removing superfluous "and"s might not be a bad idea), but a complete re-write will distress me.  Please consider issuing the revision as a new story—either as My Story:  The Rewrite or as something with a different title and character names.  Of course this is just me; other readers probably won't care so much.  But I am disturbed that a favorite story, which I have greatly enjoyed re-reading a number of times, was ruthlessly yanked from the Web recently by its author, who is now engaged in publishing a reworked version that I just can't stand.  I wish he'd left edition one up somewhere.  😢

Edited by BigBen
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22 hours ago, CassieQ said:

I'm not sure I understand what you are asking here.  If a story was a learning experience, then I wouldn't revise and republish.

Why not? You wrote, let's say a first attempt at a story, you got lots of good feedback, you want to go away and re-write it. It's a great story, but you wrote it badly. Now when you have finished all the hard work of writing it again, you don't want all those old comments, it's a new version. When I have seen people do this they have, at least in one case, given the new version a new title and republished and in the author notes linked back to the original. So I guess that's the way to do it.

22 hours ago, astone2292 said:

I don't believe re-writing and republishing it would be the solution.

Again, I ask why not? You might not want to spend your time on it, but if it's a good story, badly written, and now you can do a better job. 

I asked the question because this site holds a large place for learning to write, with this writers club, articles, advice and suggestions for utilities that might be useful. However, there is no set way for tackling story re-writes, perhaps because it is felt it is obvious that you can re-title and republish a story. Still as one person stated, they preferred the original of one such republished story and regretted it was deleted. This raises two points, the site doesn't, I think, want stories deleted, but authors might prefer their new work, obviously, if they have revised and republished the whole thing. Perhaps an edit and author's note in original and new versions, links the two stories and solves the problem. Except, as an author you wouldn't want comments on an old version that had been revised and republished, would you?

Maybe I am making things too complicated, but for me there are revisions of an existing novel and there are new versions. A new version being where you take the original story, but change significant chunks. Imagine, you started writing, you had no idea about plot, storyline, planning, the finished story is a bit of a mess, even written into an impasse. The next version is going to not simply to revise it, but start over. Why throw away a good story?

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25 minutes ago, Talo Segura said:

A new version being where you take the original story, but change significant chunks. Imagine, you started writing, you had no idea about plot, storyline, planning, the finished story is a bit of a mess, even written into an impasse. The next version is going to not simply to revise it, but start over.

 

17 hours ago, BigBen said:

If I like your story at all, I tend to fall in love with it as you originally wrote it, flaws and all.  I wouldn't object to tidying it up (removing superfluous "and"s might not be a bad idea), but a complete re-write will distress me.  Please consider issuing the revision as a new story—either as My Story:  The Rewrite or as something with a different title and character names.

In these points of view, I would recommend a new story, but as BigBen suggests:  create a new story and label it as a rewrite either in the title, or the story notes. Once BigBen detailed the concept of loving the original but hating the new version, I completely agreed with him. 

How about an 'editions' system? (a completely hypothetical thought process, as this would be a massive update for the stories system in GA) All new stories would be created as 'First Edition' stories, and if the author so chooses to do a significant rewrite, it would be designated as a 'Second Edition.' The reader could choose which edition they would like to read, and if the story resonates with them enough, they may dive into the second. I would limit it to two, perhaps three, as the author would be digging an obsessive hole if they continued to start their story over. 

Either that, or I'm just being a moron, which is a likely scenario. :gikkle:

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6 hours ago, astone2292 said:

Once BigBen detailed the concept of loving the original but hating the new version, I completely agreed with him. 

I don't mean to preclude the notion that many people might prefer the revision over the original.  It's just a quirk of mine to prefer the first version I encounter.  I've been known to hate perfectly good movies because they weren't the book, and to dislike great books because I saw the movie first, lol!

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Hey @Talo Segura if what you are talking about is "Draft Edition" versus Final Edition for the writing process, it's an interesting concept.

I remember reading that a lot of 19th and early 20th century authors went through several draft editions among a small circle of friends, who provide commentary and gave reasonable editorial suggestions.

In the film world, most notably, George Lucas gave a test screening to his friend Steven Spielberg of what would become "Star Wars" and the famous film producer/director hated it and gave Lucas pointers on what he thought he needed to do in final editing to clean up the story. George Lucas is a creative mind with a lot of story to tell, but his grand epic was unpolished. Spielberg is a very focused editor and writer in his own right, he saw the germ of a brilliant story in his friend's movie. Though Spielberg is never credited for creative input/editing/production of Star Wars, most people who know the history of the movies knew he helped Lucas.

The Draft version and the finish version may be radically different, but it communicates the narrative of the creator, nonetheless.

 

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10 hours ago, Cia said:

From a GA standpoint: We have had authors completely revise works they've already published. If there is a significant plot change and added content, yes, we have allowed authors to repost the second story. Often the original version is deleted. Once content is deleted, not unpublished (that just means hidden), the author does lose any likes, comments, and reviews on the content. 

It appears to be a mixture of choice and asking permission. You can choose to unpublish and hide the original. You can choose to re-write, re-title, and publish a new version. You only need ask permission to delete the old story, but I think I would leave it as you have done with your revised stories.

10 hours ago, Cia said:

I've revised many works from GA for eBook publication. Most of those I've moved to Premium

My conclusion you leave the old story, republish the new version. Those revised stories appear with new likes and comments, the old version is still available.

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