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Every so often I go on a binge of re-reading my own fics. And almost every time, I end up thinking the same thing: "These are pretty good. But...did I really write these??" In other words, it feels like I'm reading someone else's work. It's a little unnerving. I can't quite figure it out.

So, for those of you who write fanfic, do you go back and re-read your own old stories? How often? Is there a particular concatenation of circumstances that causes you to do so? How does it make you feel when you do? How do you find that you react to them -- do they feel like your own work or someone else's?

Now, for those of you who also write original fic: same questions.

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gelsey
Nov. 8th, 2015 12:13 am (UTC)

I do every now and then, usually due to nostalgia or because something someone says or that I've read reminds me of it. I do like doing it most times, as often I'm pleasantly surprised.

madeleone
Nov. 8th, 2015 12:52 am (UTC)
do you go back and re-read your own old stories? How often?
I do go back and read my own fics from time to time. It's kind of a random thing, no real pattern.

Is there a particular concatenation of circumstances that causes you to do so?
Sometimes I just get the urge to re-read one of them. Sometimes it's because someone leaves a comment, or maybe something I'm currently reading or writing reminds me of a particular story or scene. Sometimes I do just because I feel like it. I have a lot of fanfic as well as all my own (aside from drabbles) loaded on my calibre program so it's very easy just to pop one open and read when I feel like it.

How does it make you feel when you do? How do you find that you react to them -- do they feel like your own work or someone else's?
In general I do like my own stories. Although of course there are always instances when I think 'oooh I wish I'd done that a bit differently'. For the most part they do feel like mine but once in awhile (especially if it's something I haven't read in forever) I'll think 'This isn't bad, did I really write it?'
laralee88
Nov. 8th, 2015 03:49 am (UTC)
I very rarely ever go back to read anything I’ve written, with the exception of stories that are currently in progress. If that’s the case I’ll go back and re-read a few chapters in order to establish tone and pace for the next chapter.

It’s very difficult for me to read anything thing that I have completed for the simple fact that I know I will find something in them that needs changing. I am one of those terribly self-conscious writers that fret over every single word that is put on paper. Going back to re-read something tends to feed the flames of doubt for me. That being said, though, I will sometimes look at my very early stuff whenever I get the feeling that I have no business playing in this sandbox.

I’ve only been writing as a hobby for a little under four years now, and in some of my earlier stories you could tell that I was very new to the whole fan fiction scene (back when it was a struggle for me to get five hundred words per chapter). I am nowhere near where I want to be in terms of writing ability or honest-to-goodness storytelling, but I can say with some confidence that I have come a long way since January of 2012. So when I re-read it’s usually one of those this is where you were, and this is where you are now moments. If anything, I’d say my stories serve as a map of sorts of how I’ve grown as a writer, with each piece getting progressively stronger in terms of plot, style, and overall quality.
ennyousai
Nov. 9th, 2015 03:40 am (UTC)
NO OH GOD NO NEVER IT IS THE WORST IT MAKES ME CRINGE NO NO NO.

...but seriously, I hate doing that. The only thing I will see are the typos that crept in, or the sentence that could've been tighter. Then I start obsessively editing. Then I can't stop. Then I just want to delete it forever.

I'd really like to delete a lot of my fic, but I hate it when fanfic authors do that, so I just pretend my fic does not exist. And we live happily ever after.
shyfoxling
Nov. 10th, 2015 12:44 am (UTC)
Hmm. Occasionally I'll go skim a few. Usually it's when I see someone posting a stats kind of meme like "post a sentence from your fic with the most favorites" or whatever. Mostly they make me cringe, except possibly the last couple I wrote. I did improve a little over the years, I guess.
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