(Holy crap am I ever a windbag. When you post yours, you don't have to be as long as me, of course.)
Philosophies differ as to when it's a good idea to alter a story (original or fanfic) you've already posted, and whether you should acknowledge it.
Personally, I try to avoid it, unless I notice a typo or seriously glaring flaw, as sometimes happens even with editors. It seems unsporting, and if I let myself, I'd be constantly re-editing old stories and never writing anything new.
But then there are times that changing an old story seems not only appropriate, but necessary. I've made two such edits fairly recently:
1) Six years ago, in working on a Godzilla
story that's recommended here, I decided I was annoyed with a trend in fanfiction at the time, and had a character get mad about people from their old school treating "the Sakaki thing" as Kaorin's one defining trait
in spite of not knowing anything else about her or even if she was actually gay. (That last bit's changed with the newer strips, I suppose.)
It wasn't the yuri that bothered me, it was the torrent of stories where Karoi's whole characterization could be boiled down to "yaay we have a character who can have wild sex with/creepily stalk the others and remain canon compliant!" (I have nothing against you like such stories. This is an "at the time" thing.)
I realized much later that the scene was worded in such a way as to make accusations of lesbianism sound like some kind of mortal insult,
which was not my intention even a little bit. I changed the character's complaint to make it more clear, and removed an idiotic and insensitive joke about an asylum while I was at it. I'd say the change amounts to about six scattered clauses and three sentences replaced.
Courtesy link to the start of that trilogy. (edit here)
2)Four years ago, I posted a goofy Harry Potter
fic about Luna Lovegood being an unconventional sort of Auror. It was a modest success, but not my best work, especially with the "interrogating a vampire with a miniature false sun" scene.
Being reminded of it recently, I was appalled
at past me - not only does the (thankfully brief) scene portray torture as effective, but the interrogator was a pained and apologetic Luna freaking Lovegood.
What the hell was I thinking? I swapped out a few sentences and now the story merely flouts canon instead of defiling it (too badly.)
Now that I think about it, I guess announcing them here kind of defeats their Orwellian-ness, doesn't it? At any rate, let's hear yours! What did you change, and when, and how, and why? Don't forget to link the stories in question!
edited 18th Mar '11 12:36:22 PM by Durazno