Continuing a Story When Your Mind Has Changed Directions

Can you spot the kitten sleeping in this boot?

Can you spot the kitten sleeping in this boot?

So there was this young writer, an enthusiastic young Marxist, and she wrote this short story that she thought she’d be able to place in a Marxist ‘zine she knew about. When it was finished, she submitted to a more mainstream market first. They rejected it, but it was a personal rejection letter. The young writer decided to put the story in the files for a later rewrite.

Later. Over 20 years later. The story comes out of the files. Still pretty good. But the writer has changed. She’s older, crabbier, and has renounced Karl Marx and all his evil works and ways. Can her old Marxist story be saved?

Well, I think it can. But the Marxism has got to go. It is one thing to write a story with Marxist content when you honestly, though mistakenly, think Marxism is somehow a good thing. But once you know better, how can you honestly put out a story that’s saying ‘Marxism, Si!’ when you don’t think that way any more?

A year or so ago I went back to the story and thought I could do something by just toning down the most blatant Marxism. But I didn’t get very far with it. This time, I’m taking a different approach— I’m reversing/changing the whole thing, and bringing it in line with my current, mature way of thinking.

The dystopian setting of the original is going to stay dystopian, but the evil leadership will have a different ideology. The young rebels will not worship Karl Marx, but Jesus Christ. Aside from that, the things that I liked about the original story, the things I think worked, will stay the same.

What about you? Have you ever gone back to a story written earlier in your writing life, to try to update it and get it into publishable form? How did it go? Did you think the effort was worthwhile?


I have decided to try doing a mailing list through MailChimp. You can have up to 2000 mailing list members before they start wanting to charge you money. I don’t anticipate having that many mailing list members any time soon!

What am I going to be sharing with my mailing list members? Well, they will be the first to know when my forthcoming books are about to be published.  I may mention some particularly exciting books by other authors I know as well. And there’s this top-secret Christmas cookie recipe my mom has….

To sign up, here is the link:


2 thoughts on “Continuing a Story When Your Mind Has Changed Directions

  1. I haven’t updated a story recently, but if I dig into the archives, I imagine I’d have to nearly start from scratch if I tried. This is a good thing though. I guess it means I’ve improved over the years. Good luck with your rewrite.

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