1. Reagan
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    Reagan New Member

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    Constant Changes

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Reagan, Sep 20, 2016.

    Okay, so I just had to ask this, but I'm attempting to write a book, and so far I don't have much down yet, though I have pages after pages of scene ideas and plot details and all that.

    But the only thing is, what I plan to write is constantly changing.

    Main story wise it doesn't change, but most of whats held within. Like for example the characters, from time to time I start to fall in love with this new character I'm crafting, and wish I could give them a bigger role, so I replace one of the main characters with them.

    But it's not like I'm replacing well thought out developed characters, what leads me to being okay with replacing them is I realize I have no real idea how to right said character, I don't really know what to do with them despite thinking I did in the beginning, and this new one, I have a more solid idea, and I add in traits from the dropped character to fill them out.

    But not often, but once or twice thus far, I've done the same thing to that one when I create a better one I feel will work better in the story.

    And plot wise I keep changing certain details, like how things start, the various details of the world it's set in.

    But anyway, what I'm asking is, is it bad that I'm constantly changing things like this?
     
  2. Lew
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    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wound up with about five major characters in mine, and ten what I call second tier characters who play a major role for a time. As my main five are traveling around the world in the first century from Rome to China, they go through a lot of places, and some of the people they meet get a major part to play, then, as they move on, part company. Some of those characters I introduced almost whimsically, only to have them take over several chapters. Others were introduced early, again almost whimsically, until late in the book one of the second tour characters drew them out, or they would up responsible for making some key things happen. They don't have to replace a major character to play a major but transient part of the story.

    You sound more like a planner, which I am not... I just take dictation from my characters, and try to keep up because some of them speak really fast! But they told me an interesting story and after a 17000 mile journey, 800 pages, and 5.5 revisions, I am trying to find an agent for them.
     
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  3. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    There is certainly more than one way to write a story. Speaking from experience, I think it's often EASIER to write about something that sparks immediate enthusiasm and comfort- often this means both writing from the heart and about something you know well. In that case, I believe plot points, details, and characters, become less arbitrary and more fixed. Your story may be awesome, but if you pick something you're more intimate with, you may not have this problem.
     
  4. hawls
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    hawls Active Member

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    So you start with a character you think is pretty cool, do a bit more work on the plot, then realize it would be better if you had a whole different type of character. You're just refining your ideas. It's not a problem. It's a good thing!

    Don't let it discourage you. Better to make those changes when the inspiration strikes, than get it publish and have regrets.
     
  5. Reagan
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    Reagan New Member

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    Thanks. For me Clive Barker is a calming method for me on this. Took him ten years to write the Scarlet Gospels and the published story didn't even resemble his original idea after so many changes were made over the years. But it's good to hear from someone else. :3

    And yeah, def a planner, writing's the hard part for me, I've been told I'm extremely detail oriented or something, so I'm constantly deleting bits cause I'm just not happy with it. S'why I have so little written. I'm to picky and obsessive I think. Writings what I want to do though, so.

    And I do have more major characters, I just mean the main center two.

    It's funny, but up until a year ago I was a horrid writer. I had so many ideas but I could never do anything with them sadly. Then like a year ago suddenly I was able to write. I'm still not the best, and I tend to go through several month dry spells. But, I'm actually able to.
     
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  6. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    For a first draft I'd say no, you have lots of time to eliminate and rewrite it once you've finished that one. For a finished piece I'd say it's a problem though, so I think you have a lot of work ahead of you if you keep doing that before you can submit it anywhere, if that is your aim. If not, and you're only writing for yourself and for fun, then just go ahead like you've done until now. It's a good way to learn the craft of writing and exploring different techniques and learn character development and so on. :)
     
  7. GizmoEFG
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    GizmoEFG New Member

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    I don't think that's a bad thing. The more time you take on your characters and fleshing them out the better. It's all part of the process. I wouldn't get discouraged if things keep changing, just go with the flow.
     
  8. G. Anderson
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    G. Anderson Senior Member

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    I am writing a story which I will currently describe as light comedy. It started as a crime for adults, then moved on to become psychological thriller, then a romance, and finally the light comedy that it is today. I changed the script dramatically over and over again, but simply fell in love with a few of the characters and told their stories instead. I am much happier with the story now, so I think it's a great thing that we keep changing our work. It's creativity in a nutshell :)
     
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  9. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Reagan It took over 2 and a half years for me to write my Doctor Who fanfic, and I'd been outlining for a few months before I started putting words to the page. Let's tally up a few of the changes:

    • My initial lead heroine retroactively turned out to have been a bloodthirsty serial killer with superpowers the whole time
    • Said villain protagonist was established from the beginning as going by an alias, but it wasn't until the last few pages that I decided what her original name had been
    • A guy that I'd originally been convinced was asexual/aromantic like me ended up falling in love with one of the other guys he meets along the way (and turning out to have had quite a few boyfriends and girlfriends in his life before the story started)
    • A character who I hadn't come up with until I'd already written several chapters ended up not only being retroactively added to the first chapter, but also ended up getting about as much screentime in the second half than the rest of my cast combined (which was also just 3 chapters: my first 10 were about 4,000 words each, but chapter 11 was almost 10,000 and chapter 12 was almost exactly 16,000)
    • Another character that I came up with at the same time ended up accidentally mirroring my other characters' intended arcs to a T, but for completely unrelated reasons (and, again, getting more screentime than one of my initial characters)
    • I ended up writing over 50% more words than I'd thought I would be: 63k instead of what I'd originally estimated would be 40k
    • I'd originally thought the heroes (and later "heroes + villain") would take care of everything themselves, but they ended up calling for reinforcements (though I did love the Firefly joke my villain protagonist ended up making about the reinforcements along the way)
    • When I first came up with my breakout character, I gave her a 574-word prologue summarizing the trauma she'd endured at the hands of the antagonists, but my last chapter filled in the details with about 3000 words of testimony to the authorities.
    And if my personal experience doesn't help because it's only a Doctor Who fanfiction and I've only garnered 969 views since I published the first chapter – wow, almost exactly 1 year ago. I wish I'd done something to celebrate on Monday :( – let me fill you in on a little secret:

    The One Ring was originally supposed to be just a random magic item like Sting or the mithril shirt. Tolkien's second Middle Earth book, The Fellowship of the Ring, retconned it into an embodiment of pure evil to be destroyed on a quest spanning 3 books that we now know it to be today.

    Are any of your changes anywhere near as drastic as Tolkien's ;)
     

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