1. Ozzy
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    Ozzy Member

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    Do you write 'side stories'?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ozzy, Apr 16, 2015.

    I have a ton of 'side stories' that are rolling around in my head about my characters, conversations or whatever, that probably won't make in into the novel they stem from. Does this help you with character/setting/plot building, or does it just distract you from the actual story line?
     
  2. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't do much - but a lot of people do. I guess the question is does it help the story.
     
  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Yes. My characters are in my head, constantly doing things. Sometimes I'll write down scenes if I feel motivated - if I want to remember them. Scenes that might not make it into my story but may eventually be used for something else.
    I find it helpful for working on an angle, and for creating a world that feels beyond the boundaries of the book. Like the reader is getting only a snippet.

    I also find it helpful in accessing my imagination. I know a lot of writer's who just don't know how to sit and think before writing. They assume something will come but really you kinda have to welcome it.

    But it can also be distracting. You can spend more time daydreaming than writing.
     
  4. Ozzy
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    Ozzy Member

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    I spend all my time daydreaming. I don't really think my side conversations really effect the main story at all, neither negative nor positive.
     
  5. jaebird
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    jaebird Active Member

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    Even if they never get used, any writing you do is good practice. Plus, you never know if you'll use sides for something else, or perhaps even find out something about a character or a place that does change your main story and makes it better.
     
  6. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    I avoid it and keep the idea for another book where it will fit in the plot.

    I have a ideas and news clipping database and it grows everyday.
     
  7. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    As long as they aren't too spoiler-y, you could use them as promo shorts for your main story. Post them on your website/blog, or on guest blogs, or if they're longer publish them independently (depending on your contract with your publisher) and give readers a quick, inexpensive taste of your world.
     
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  8. neuropsychopharm
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    neuropsychopharm Active Member

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    Definitely. I'm working out a plan to publish a chapbook spun off from the novel I'm working on actually! It's exciting getting immersed in the lives of characters you've created.
     
  9. VirtuallyRealistic
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    VirtuallyRealistic Active Member

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    I'm going to also put forward this advice. Practice is always good, and in the writing of these secondary scenes you may discover something interesting about your characters. Perhaps something comes up in conversation, and you have to think of how that character would react/reply. This could give you valuable insight into your character's personality. Then those insights could leak into the rest of your book.
     
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  10. Sintas
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    Sintas Member

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    Hah yes all the time. I just have little cut scenes I write out for funsies. Personally, it helps me develop the character. Although it can get distracting. I tend to go off in tangents.
     
  11. Masked Mole
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    Masked Mole Contributing Member

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    If they fit the universe you're creating, you could always write another novel or short story based on these scenes. People sometimes publish entire anthologies based on side stories.
    MM
     
  12. AlcoholicWolf
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    AlcoholicWolf Contributing Member

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    I've spent years building a world from scratch, filling it with peoples, conflicts, history and more. That there are side stories with it is hardly surprising and, actually, is to be expected. I'll reiterate the sentiment that any writing is good writing for your own personal development, but it also develops your story even if it never appears in it. For example, I could write an entire novel about the history of my world that may never go to publish and never see the light of day once I've written it - but what I develop there will have an impact on my main novel. Look at it as "behind the scenes".

    Your story is like our planet: On the surface you have the beauty, the conflict, the tales of the main characters. But underneath the crust is the mantle and the core, and they make up the earth just as much as the surface. It's what is beneath the surface that causes volcanic eruptions that shape the land, the shifts in the tectonic plates that can flatten whole continents. Just because nobody else sees it does not mean it does not have a huge impact.
     
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  13. A.L.Mitchell
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    A.L.Mitchell Active Member

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    Yes, I have like side stories in stories and I do this if possible but if not, then there be another story. All my side stories will have the same theme as the main one, as well as making in consisting closely to the story. What is important in a story, a novel or short there have to be a linked together at the end. It's a plant you are creating have to be real.
     

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