#QuestionOfTheDay – #AmReading – #AmWriting

A discussion on Monday’s #This&That&TheOtherThing post made me ask myself if rereading my own books now and then is a really weird thing to do. Honestly, I couldn’t decide, so I figured I’d toss the question out to all of you. Do you reread your own books now and then? Why? Or why not? 

I do, but not more often than once a year or so. And I do it for several reasons:

  1. To remember small details that I might want to mention going forward in the series.
  2. To see if I’ve been consistent throughout with certain plot points.
  3. To help me see what I did then that I’ve learned how do better now.
  4. To remind myself that I’m finally following my dream and have the proof of that right in front of my eyes. 

At my age, I’m not likely to spend a lot of time revising what’s already out there. I’ve chosen to use my remaining writing years telling new stories and hopefully improving my skills as I go.

But how about you? Do you move on without ever looking back? Or do you reread now and then, and if so, why? 

Inquiring Minds Wanna Know 

Let’s Chat!

 

53 thoughts on “#QuestionOfTheDay – #AmReading – #AmWriting

    • I can see where it wouldn’t be as important to reread if you aren’t in series mode, though I think I probably still would once in a while, to see if I’m improving in my writing skills over time. But since I’m new at this craft and have had no training whatsoever, other than just having read about three million books over my lifetime, I’m really trying to learn from my own blunders here and there.

      Thanks for taking a moment to reply, Priscilla. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I agree with Priscilla that this would be something really valuable if you were writing a series. I’ve had to change the names of characters when I’ve realised that I’ve used the name before – even in books that have no connection that’s not a good thing to do!

    Liked by 2 people

    • For me, I think I’d reread either way, but yes, for a series, I think it’s incredibly helpful. And I’ve done the name thing, too. ARRRRGHHH. I’m trying to learn to be better about a full character sheet for each book, but that doesn’t help much with mistakes already made. DOH!

      Thanks for weighing in on this, Trish! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree on the series aspect. I think it would have to be a very valuable tool. With standalones, I’d think the primary value would be in rereading once a few months or a year later, so that it’s “new” to you and you might catch things that need to be fixed, or that you would want to do differently in future books. Glad you liked the question, Harmony. I will no doubt pop up with new ones from time to time. Thanks so much for responding to this one. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am currently rereading my angel/evildwel series before releasing new covers. I’m fixing a thing or two but not a complete re-edit to reflect how I write now. Our writing does improve as we go and the past work shows that journey.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think you’re exactly right, Denise, and getting new covers is an excellent chance to fix at least anything glaring that bothers you. I don’t think a full re-edit is always necessary. For one thing, I think readers kind of expect writers to turn out books that get better and better over time. And having that journey show up over time would make me very happy.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to give us your thoughts on this one. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Since I read parts of my books to schools and libraries I visit, I get to re-read my books often. I sometimes cringe at the mistakes I made in the early days. I agree that re-reading for consistency when writing a series is important. In the first book, I mentioned Amanda wore glasses. In fact, the camel almost steps on them to her horror. Then I don’t mention the glasses in the next couple of books. In fact, I had forgotten about them. After a reread, I made sure I mentioned them in the next books. It’s a little thing but consistency is important.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do readings occasionally at my talks, Darlene, so I sort of know what you mean. And once in a while, I realize something I’m reading is awkward. I either change it if it bothers me enough, or I make a note of it so I won’t use that combination of words or phrases again. Hearing our work read aloud is a HUGE help, isn’t it? And overlooking Amanda’s glasses is the kind of thing I’ve done without realizing it. I’m really glad I do reread now and then. 😀

      Thanks for stopping by! 😀 ❤

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    • I can understand that, Stevie. I actually enjoy conversations I’ve “had” with some of my characters, and rereading allows me to revisit those moments that turned out exactly the way I was hoping they would. But mostly, I do it as a learning thing. When I see things I’ve written that I don’t like, I know to avoid that type of writing in my next book.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking part in this chat! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As I translate my own books, that means I reread them while I’m translating, and although I tend to do it quite close to when they are ready (because I published them in Spanish and English at the same time), it does make you look at them more closely. I am translating one of my series into Catalan at the moment, and it’s an interesting experience. I agree that for a series it would be very important, but I’ve written two, and one of them I had planned in advance, so continuity wasn’t a big issue, while the second developed over time, but some of the characters changed….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Continuity is only one reason I check my books again. As I’ve learned what I like to write and what I don’t, I’ve changed my focus and my writing style, and revisiting old books helps me decide if I need/want to do that or not. But I can certainly see that with writing all your translations, you’d have lots of opportunities to change anything you didn’t like. So no reason just to reread for that type of thing. Thanks for weighing in today, Olga. I’ve been enjoying everyone’s thoughts on this topic. 😀 ❤

      Like

    • We are all so different, aren’t we? I’ve never gotten sick of one of my books, but I have discovered places in them that were missed by my betas, proofers, and editors. Some of them were actual mistakes, but quite a few have just been areas that I realized were not written as well as they should have been. Whether or not I change them just depends on how much I think they’ll impact the enjoyment of new readers.

      Glad you enjoyed the question, Jill. It’s interesting how everyone looks at it differently, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think it’s worthwhile to read the books in the series for consistency. I do see that authors improved their writing skills but other than fixing some mistakes, it’s too time-consuming to re-edit the earlier books in the series. You asked a great question, Marcia!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I’d probably NEVER take on a full edit, Miriam. I reread to pick up small things that either should be fixed, or that I should learn not to do in future books. It’s all about learning from past mistakes for me. Or once in a while, finding a passage I think I did a super job on, and figuring out how I can use that same approach going forward.

      Thanks for stopping by today! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Taking two evenings to reread one of my books every year or so isn’t going to impact my TBR pile at all. I’m so far behind, I’m going to have to live to be 125 to finish them all. If then! 😀 But if I can see things in my past work that I can improve on in my next book, then for me, it’s well worth losing about 4 hours or so. I’m really such a novice at what I’m doing, I need all the help I can get. So in addition to being sure my series books remain consistent, it’s also a way for me to learn to be a better writer.

      Having said that, I definitely understand how hard it is to find reading time. If I wasn’t so new at all of this, or had actually studied writing at any point, I’d probably be far less likely to reread my work. (Though sometimes I do get an idea for another story from one of my earlier books, and I love when that happens.) Thanks for stopping by and taking part in the chat, Jan! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good question, Marcia. I’ve gone back and read sections when I needed to check on a detail. Usually, when I finish writing a book, though, I move on. That said, a series is a different matter. Coherence is too important. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • A series really does put a different spin on it, Gwen, but for me, even if I wrote a standalone book, I’d read it a year or so later at least once, just to see if there are things I could do better in my next book. Even certain stylistic things I did in my first couple of books don’t work for me these days. I found approaches I prefer, so I changed. But I’m not up for going back in and making big edits in an older book. I’d much rather move on, too …there are more stories I’d like to tell, and I guess I want to look forward more than I want to look back.

      Thanks so much for weighing in on this topic. I hadn’t realized there’d be so many different thoughts on it, but I should have known. After all, in spite of everything we writers have in common, we are each unique, even down to our approach to our craft. 😀 ❤

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  7. I definitely re-read for many of the same reasons others have listed – maintaining series consistency, looking for ways to improve, and seeing what may have worked well. I remember re-reading my first book a bit after it was published and realizing how much I liked certain words, so I started a list to avoid “overused words.” I also find myself re-reading passages when I am checking on a detail. I don’t go back and edit since I’d rather move forward and keep past books as a moment in time. Great question, Marcia!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Valerie. So glad you took a moment to weigh in on this topic. Looks like a lot of us reread, and I think your reasons for doing so are good ones. Overused words is one of the things I try to avoid, but they do get by. That’s the type of thing I often pick up on when rereading.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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  8. I do re-read my books, even if it has nothing to do with a series or maintaining consistency. Like you, I probably only read one a year or every two years, but now and then, I just like to revisit the characters I created. Maybe I’m the odd one out, but I read them solely to be entertained and enjoy what I created. After a long time away from them, those characters, plots, and setting come off with an entirely new polish.

    Fun post, Marcia, and great question!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad to hear you enjoy revisiting your characters. I do, too. Even though I’m keeping an eye out for ways to improve my writing, I still love spending a couple of hours with “old friends.” Also, it puts me in the mood to write more about them, too. But even just reading something and thinking to yourself, “Whoa. I wrote that. And heck, these people didn’t exist until I created them.” Well, that’s sort of an amazing thing all by itself, I think. See? You’re not the Odd One Out. You at least have ME for company! 😂😂😂

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Mae! Have a great evening! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you also felt proud of what you’d accomplished, Craig. Rereading is not only a chance to learn what to do better, but to remind ourselves that we are doing what we love, even if we are learning as we go. I don’t just pick up on things I don’t want to do any more. I also come across phrases or scenes that I think are really solid, and look for ways to do write similar things in my latest WIP. All in all,

      I’m convinced that rereading once in a while can be a very good thing. But of course, I know that we each approach writing in our own way, so we have to find what works for us. Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to weigh in on this topic! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve reread my series a couple of times. First, I wanted to make sure my characters stayed consistent and there were no discrepancies in the plot line. Then, after many years, I reread them to revise them because my writing had become much better, and I wanted those early books to represent the better version of me as an author. I’ve reread part of some of them again when I created short author reading videos. I don’t think I’ve ever sat with the book in hand to read it for pleasure; I’ve always had some other purpose in mind. Great post, Marcia! I’ve enjoyed seeing how others have responded to your question. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Yvette. It has turned out to be more interesting than I ever imagined. If I were younger (MUCH younger), I’d probably consider revising my first couple of books, too, but since that’s not the case, I just want to learn from the things I’ve done, and use that knowledge to help me improve going forward with new stories. But I actually DO enjoy spending time with my characters, too. They are old friends to me now, and I like dropping in on them now and again. 😀

      Thanks for weighing in on this questions! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Now that I write in Scrivener, my story bibles are all right there, so I don’t have to reread to find out character names or places or anything. I can easily find them in the main doc. I’m afraid to reread my work because I know I’ve improved and my voice has changes, so I suspect I wouldn’t like my earlier work. But I do see value in revisiting those stories. (I don’t have the time, however, so I likely won’t ever get to it.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s good that you have all the Story Bible stuff at hand. I wish I’d done a better job of that from the start! I do have Scrivener, but have never been able to work in it. I spend too much time “playing,” instead of writing, I think. But even with it to help with consistencies, I’d reread my stories once in a while, because I actually like checking to be sure my writing is improving (at least a little) with each book. That’s what I strive for, and helps if I can tell that it has.

      I don’t necessarily dislike what I’ve already done, but when I see things I’ve done that I know I’ve gotten better at, it makes me feel good about my progress. And if I see stuff that I don’t like and realize I’m STILL doing it, I look for ways to do it or say it better.

      I’ve enjoyed seeing how different we each are about this topic. Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts on it, Staci! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t. I’ll read select portions if I’m going to do a short reading at an event, or flip through to find a good section to share, but as far as reading the whole thing? No. All my books are stand alone, so there’s no series issues to worry about – plus, having read them so many times in editing, I just can’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s really interesting how different we all are. I would reread standalones, too, once a year or so, because I use it as a way to see if I’ve improved my writing over time, and to to pick up on things I might want to do differently in future books. Overall, rereading after a year or so helps me to see how to do things better, and reminds me of how happy I am to be telling my stories finally. It’s all a positive for me, or a learning experience, or both. I find reading it as a finished project that I haven’t looked at in a long, long time is often quite a surprise, and very helpful for moving ahead.

      But as I’ve said earlier, whatever works for you is what you should do. I’m pleased to see I’m not the only one who rereads, but fully understand that it’s not for everyone.

      Thanks for weighing in on this topic, Sue!

      Like

  12. I have a saying that I live by – never look back, lol. Of course, that doesn’t work in grief. But as far as my books go. I feel like if I read them again, I will want to rewrite some, and like you, I’d rather be writing new stuff and keep moving forward. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can understand the never look back thing, but I don’t think of rereading my books as looking back. I think of it as learning how to improve going forward. Guess it’s all in your perspective, or the reasons involved. I hunt for things I could have phrased better and approaches I liked enough to try something similar to in my next book. A total learning experience for me.

      I don’t want to rewrite. No time for that, which definitely would be moving backwards to my mind. But any time I can take a look at something I’ve done (be it writing, or gardening, or whatever) and see ways to improve it, I’m all for it.

      Thanks for weighing in on this one, Debby. It’s been pretty interesting to see everyone’s take on the subject. 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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