1. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    ending up with a totally different story

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Tesoro, Jul 29, 2011.

    Does it ever happen to you that you somewhere between drafts start to think that it is not turning into the story you imagined at first? And then start replotting and re-developing the characters to make it a completely different story that you started with? Maybe the original theme is the same but it is taking a whole new direction when you discover and develop new sides of your character and then you have to rewrite big parts of the story for everything to make sense? I am in this exact situation and I'm feeling both intimidated and stimulated and creative at the same time. it will be a huge change and I don't know which story will be better. I'll make the changes in a different document, in case I regret myself later, but I really have to take this road to see where it leads. Your experiences on this?
     
  2. R-e-n-n-a-t
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    R-e-n-n-a-t Contributing Member

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    Happens to me all the time. I think many writers have this problem to some extent. I find that it happens more easily and more quickly if you plan out future character interactions mentally. In that way, I sometimes make the mistake of thinking that characters have progressed further than they actually have. It helps me to go back and re-read everything I've written up to that point. That way, I can judge how much the characters should have progressed. It might help for you.
     
  3. Jessica_312
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    Jessica_312 Contributing Member

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    Yup. It's happening with my current story.
     
  4. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    The full potential of a plot is seldom realised in a first draft. The transformation is natural and should never be resisted.
     
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  5. lightaway
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    lightaway New Member

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    That always happens to me, no matter how much I try and take control of my characters and the plot, sometimes my fingers have different ideas when it comes to writing. I think it's just a matter of finding the balance between what you want to write and what you end up writing.
     
  6. Sundae
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    Sundae Contributing Member

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    I think this happens to all stories to varying degrees and is normal. Though, loosing sight of your intended target maybe a different thing, I don't know.

    To me, it depends on how much leeway you give your words. If you want to go in an give a certain effect, that is good, but if you go in writing and notice that it's change and don't mind the change, then that's okay.

    The times where you need to worry is if you're contradicting yourself in the story and also loose track of your plot and characters, but other than that, I think it's normal.
     
  7. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    As a previous post mentioned 'Do not resist'. I doubt anyones first idea is going to become a classic novel. Development is key to becoming original. After writing an outline and 3 chapters of my book I decided to switch my book into the future. It was the best decision I ever made, and I developed further and further. Now my story is nothing like my original outline, and I'm happier because of it.
    But like being a master painter, you most know when to leave alone. :rolleyes:
     
  8. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    To me, this kind of happens without me realizing. I mean, my main WIP right now was originally about two twin brothers and one was turned into a vampire and the other one chased him into old age. Then that suddenly turned into some kind of massive apocalypse story that spanned over 2000 years and the human twin was dropped. No idea how or when that happened. It just did.

    Point is, I like the second one better, and because they are so different, I made the original story into a 40K "short" story.
     
  9. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    This happened to me but usually in increments along the way. Like how a short story about discovering a dead body on the beach developed into a novel that launched a 4-novel series about characters not even in my original idea for a short story. Go figure. :rolleyes:
     
  10. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks for your replies. I didn't know it was that common. :)
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I think most stories evolve as they are written. The mere fact of character development creates additional plot possibilities, and your story is all the richer for them. In fact, character development and growth is the main reason why I never jump ahead and write something that will occur later in the story before I write what has come before: in trying to "write up" to the later point in the story, things change and when I try to connect the story to what has already been written, it seldom fits.

    In my current project, I actually stopped when I was about 20,000 words in and started over, because I hadn't really thought through all the possibilities of the story line, and as I wrote, many new possibilities, both in characters and plot, came to mind.
     
  12. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks Ed, that's encouraging. :) I recently found out I need to develop my main character A LOT, because her behaviour and reactions to things are not in line with the background I've given her, but I cannot do this without changing a whole lot about the plot too, and I think the end result will be a lot better and add a lot more depth to the story. For everything I have learned and keep learning while writing this story I think I'll never get it ready, things keep popping up into my head about ways of improving it :D
     
  13. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    This is a great way of putting it.. Stephen King touched on this in "On Writing" (a great book on the process of story-telling, whether you like his work or not). His take on it involves getting inside the heads of his characters, a process that evolves as the story goes, and letting them dictate the plot through the different situations they find themselves in.

    Easy said than done, but in theory it seems like a more natural approach.
     
  14. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    It's definitely cool. It's like feeling something come to life. I say enjoy the ride. It's good a writer enjoy their work as much as the reader.
     
  15. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree. It's a fabulous feeling of the story living it's own life, and trying to tell me how to write it when I stray too far from what it finds acceptable, lol. the editing and rewriting makes me feel like an artist when I pick the story apart, and put some of the pieces back together along with new pieces that weren't there before but which all contribute to changing the aspect of the whole work. It's more creatively stimulating than the actual writing of the first draft which only serves for getting all the ideas onto paper. This stage is where the creative work begins. :)
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I agree completely. The first draft is the stitched together body parts on the operating room table, before the good doctor treats the assembled corpse and imbues it with the spark of life. And, of course, that is were all the hard work lies.

    Hopefully, although it didn't end up quite as you originally envisioned. it will be better received than Dr. Frankenstein's creation. :)
     
  17. Anders Backlund
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    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

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    ...I don't think this has ever happened to me, to be honest. Sometimes I can start writing without really knowing where I'm going with it, plot-wise, but generally I know how I want the story to end before the first chapter is done and after that I basically power on and will only change things when absolutely necessary or as I'm filling in the blanks.

    The idea of radically altering a story into different story while writing it is honestly kinda alien to me - if I find I want to write a different story, surely I would just stop writing the one I'm working on and start writing the new one instead?
     
  18. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    If I get a fantastic idea, I'm not going to scrap the story I'm working on to implement it. Half the time, the great idea is dependent on other plot points. For example, last night I thought about the ramifications of making a character struggle through a drug addiction--in another story, the impact would be totally different.

    Part of the joy of writing (for me at least) is coming up with new ideas and working out all the exciting ways things tie together.

    My novel started off as a religious satire fantasy novel, and now it's a supernatural thriller. And I love it!

    My biggest issue is realising when my story is complete. I'm nearing the end of my fifth tier of editing, and I can't stop thinking "but if this happened..." :redface:
     
  19. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeh it happens everytime lol! I remember starting with a post-apocalyptic dystopian story which now happens to be a sci-fi adventure! I think it's a good thing though. Means your story is developing. Plus if you dont like how it turns out you can always check your original material and incoporate it back into the story.
     

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