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View Full Version : Is it faux pas to re-write?



LOG
09-19-2009, 10:05 AM
Is it?
I don't believe I've ever seen a re-written book myself...

BenPanced
09-19-2009, 10:26 AM
Sequels? Yes.

Rewrites? Never.

kaitie
09-19-2009, 10:28 AM
Dean Koontz has rewritten several books that were originally published under pseudonyms.

willietheshakes
09-19-2009, 12:02 PM
In Canada, Timothy Findley and Barry Callaghan have both done it. The amount of "editing" Stephen King did on The Stand for the Complete version is borderline...

icerose
09-19-2009, 08:26 PM
Is it your book? Has it been published before? Are you making it a new book?

Christine N.
09-19-2009, 09:03 PM
Samhain puts out revised and reprinted books all the time. Older books that have been 'expanded' or whatever. But that may only be a romance thing, or with books that only had a short print existence the first time due to publisher problems.

lauraannwilliams
09-19-2009, 09:08 PM
It's not unheard of to me -

Robin McKinley first retold "Beauty and the Beast" as a Young Adult novel, Beauty. Years later, she released Rose Daughter - it's still a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but the characters, plot and much else are extremely different from her first version.

O.R. Melling revised the Hunter's Moon ( and two other stories ) for re-release in an omnibus edition - I'm not entirely certain what was changed, as I only own the new edition, but I seem to vaguely remember that there were supposed to be new scenes in the new edition, and the ending may have been edited a bit as well.

blacbird
09-19-2009, 10:14 PM
I'm unclear on what you mean by "re-written". I suspect some others here are, too.

caw

Bartholomew
09-19-2009, 10:31 PM
In my dorm, it's a faux pas to write. I generally have to go to the upper-classman dorms to find quiet.

Ryan David Jahn
09-19-2009, 11:07 PM
You mean releasing an alternate version later?

David Morrell did that with The Totem, Stephen King with The Stand, Harlan Ellison with dozens of stories in dozens of collections. I don't think it's terribly common, but it happens -- if that's what you're talking about.

maestrowork
09-20-2009, 01:49 AM
I plan to rewrite TPB if it gets picked up by a major for a reprint. :)

blacbird
09-20-2009, 07:44 AM
You mean releasing an alternate version later?

David Morrell did that with The Totem, Stephen King with The Stand, Harlan Ellison with dozens of stories in dozens of collections. I don't think it's terribly common, but it happens -- if that's what you're talking about.

Reiterating my confusion, in a slightly different form. Really, just what exactly is the OP talking about? You'll get better answers with a little clarification.

caw

LOG
09-20-2009, 08:43 AM
Clarifiction:
Assume it is a rewrite of an already published book.
Rewrite as in altering parts of the plot, but the majority of it would remain the same. Whether the changes would be highly significant is hard to tell since I don't have a specific example.

BenPanced
09-20-2009, 09:22 AM
I've never heard of it happening. Tons of copyright and/or trademark and other rights issues that might make even the most season pro sick.

Terie
09-20-2009, 12:09 PM
Further clarification is still required. Are you asking whether an author has ever published a rewritten version of their own book? Or are you asking whether another writer can come along and rewrite someone else's work?

In the case of the latter, if the work is still under copyright, 'rewriting' it without the copyright holder's permission is illegal and the work is unpublishable. Although some authors do permit fanfiction, it's still unpublishable. If the work is in the public domain, it's legal, and if you're doing something clever (such as PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES), possibly even publishable. But you have to be doing something seriously clever to pull it off.

In the former case, I've never heard of an author doing such a thing, but I suppose it might have happened.

willietheshakes
09-21-2009, 05:01 AM
I've never heard of it happening.

Aside from the 6 or 8 examples cited earlier in this thread, you mean? :)

katiemac
09-21-2009, 05:11 AM
Assume it is a rewrite of an already published book.
Rewrite as in altering parts of the plot, but the majority of it would remain the same. Whether the changes would be highly significant is hard to tell since I don't have a specific example.

The bottom line, aside from potential copyright issues, is there doesn't seem to be a point. What's in it for a publisher to spend money to print a book like this if it's mostly the same as the original? It would seem very difficult to get a project off the ground, I think, especially without being part of the original yourself, and then only the well-known authors guaranteed to sell an alternate edited version (King) would attempt it. (Of course, unless it's something like Ray's example where the book is picked up by a different publisher.)

LOG
09-21-2009, 05:20 AM
Assume it's one of my stories.

katiemac
09-21-2009, 08:31 AM
Assume it's one of my stories.

Even then you'd need to get the publisher behind you, and I think there would need to be an exceptionally good reason for them to consider it. If the book didn't sell out its original printing, I'd say there's zero chance of a rewrite getting published, unless via another publisher. Still a tough sell.

maestrowork
09-21-2009, 05:03 PM
If it's in public domain, then yeah, if you have a unique idea, go for it. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies is a hoot. Gregory Maguire made a name for himself for rewriting fairytales and the Wizard of Oz.

They are not just rewrites. They are original ideas based on published materials. I doubt a publisher would be interested if the writer wanted to do Pride & Prejudice better than Jane Austen did, or if Maguire had simply rewrote Wizard of Oz his way.

Fanfic (of copyrighted materials) are not publishable.