I think this whole thing is getting blown out of proportion. There is some hostility in here, as well as some help. I'll take responsibility for some of it, due to the fact that I didn't detail out every issue I was referring to. My intention was to find out if there were people and ways here for an author to get assistance working on a book. Somehow that seems to have been totally missed in favor of a view that I want people to write the book for me, which is not it at all. I didn't specify in detail because I was looking for people or a group and didn't think it was appropriate to get into that. Perhaps I should have as there seems to be a lot of confusion.
For instance, having two characters in the book with the same name was not done on purpose. I was dictating the book to someone else because I couldn't write as fast as I could think and somehow in that process two characters got confused and she ended up writing as if they were the same one.
As for the "fixing"... How can I explain? Hmm... Let's take the "timeline" issue for instance. The actual problem is that the main character travels to and from various locations over the course of the story. I had (and still have) no idea how to gauge if it was actually possible to be at point A at X time of day and reach point B, on foot, by Y time of day. So how would I "fix" that? Meaning, what method would one use to determine if travel in said mode could be achieved in the stated amount of time? Another example would be that a scene seems a little flat in comparison to the one before it. What would "fix" it? More dialogue? Less? A deeper description of the setting?
And it's things like this that sometimes make me hate the written word. It can be so easily misconstrued or misread. Overall, I'm just stuck with looking at an old work and unsure of how to repair or rewrite it. I'm not a fiction writer by nature. I do non-fiction, humor and poetry. I thought people might be able to give me some pointers on learning how to sort out the issues I know the book has so I can take care of them. And the reason I'm working on such an old book is because I believe there was a good premise and it's something to work from. I don't really have any ideas for a new work of fiction. I thought if I could learn how to fix this old thing, I'd be well-armed to write something new in the future.
I hope that clears things up and either I can get the help I'm requesting or let the subject drop and I'll see what I can come up with on my own.
What type of nonfiction do you write? If it's creative, the requirements aren't that different from realistic fiction. It still sounds to me like you need to sit down and rewrite this book without being wedded to how it was originally.
Also, do you read the genre this book is meant to be in?
I don't have much time to read anymore, but I used to love horror books and read quite a bit.
I think I'm still being misunderstood here. For some reason I don't seem to be able to communicate what it is I'm trying to get at. It might be best to just let this thread drop and I'll try to figure things out on my own. Obviously it's going to be difficult to research since I can't even get it across to actual people, but maybe in time I can figure it out. This is just becoming more stressful for me than it's worth.
I do appreciate those trying to help, I won't blame anyone for my lack of ability to express myself in a way that translates to all of you. Asking questions and getting the answers I need has always been an issue for me. Let's just let it go and you can all move on and maybe give some help to someone else.
Yes. Please do that. I'll try again when I can form more specific questions. Maybe I'm just too tired right now and that's why I'm not getting it all across. Again, thank you to those who did actually try to help. I do appreciate it.
I think I would need to read the work before I could give you a critique tailored to the specific problems you're having with it. Where timelines are concerned (and I hope I'm on the money here), I would recommend writing everything down before you rewrite the story. Write the timeline down. Use notecards if it will help you.
I don't mean to plug my own work, but I did write a little "tutorial" on how to flesh out a scene many moons ago. These are some of the tips I've learned in school and that I've found very helpful for me. Perhaps it will work for you? [link]
I'm confused by the fact that you seem to know what's wrong with the book already. The biggest benefit of fresh eyes is people pointing out stuff you don't already know. What part do you actually want help with? How will someone else be more committed to writing your story than you?
Communities are awesome for support and offering ideas for sticky points. If you want you can make it a project, but this is a twenty four year old work that doesn't sound like it's revised yet.