1. Brandon P.
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    Brandon P. Senior Member

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    Revising ideas beyond recognition

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Brandon P., May 21, 2011.

    Very often, I start out with a story idea, but as I think through it, I modify it so much that by the time I'm ready to write, the idea has barely any resemblance whatsoever to what I originally conceived; the plot, characters, and setting are all very different from how I first imagined them. Does this normally happen to writers?
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Happens to me a lot. But my first ideas tend to be rather vague and shape themselves as I go through the first draft. After that I know what the story is really about, so the second draft is much more focused, and may bear very little resemblance to the idea I had at the beginning.
     
  3. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    Yep! My story started off as a political conspiracy come religious satire piece, now it's a paranormal murder mystery thriller :)

    A story that you've developed is always stronger than a concept, so this revision of ideas is a good thing. :)
     
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  4. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeh happens to me all the time! You should see my current plan compared to my old one...its like a new story. Sometimes what you originally thought could work just doesn't seem to fit. Once you finish writing you will be surprised at how much more you will want to change. It's just part of being a writer and helps to improve your story. If you dont like the changes you can always change back!
     
  5. jo3bo
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    jo3bo Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it. Almost all original ideas are very different to the final product. If you think about it, the first concept is often very vague and unspecified; rarely is a revision or development of plot and characters detrimental to the story as a whole.
     
  6. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    I'm pretty sure all writers - from amateurs to professionals to the greats - have this happen all the time. Almost all writers always go through several drafts for each work anyways, so it's very likely that things change as they continue writing and rewriting.

    It certainly has happened to me. For instance, one of my stories began as a somewhat melancholy but otherwise light-hearted coming-of-age romance. Now, five years later, it's a rather dark and bitter political drama surrounding a multi-person romance in a light steampunk world that deals with themes of family/friend relationships, how power and struggle for political power causes problems (for lack of better wording), what "goodness" or lack thereof really means, and mortality. Very, very different from the originally love story I originally thought of.
     
  7. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Every single time.

    I've been working on the outlines of a novel since December. It's changed so much that the genre has gone from being an erotic novel to a crime thriller.
     
  8. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    Happens all the time. The story I'm writing right now started as a Dragonball Z knock-off and now is a sci-fi action story. Pretty much only the MCs are left from the original idea and not even all of them made it.
     
  9. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    happens to me too, especially if I like the story a lot. I want to improve it and start seeing its potential as a story when coming up with several changes to the original idea. I actually like that! :)
     
  10. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    All the time, like everyone else.
    Though while my plot changes often and much, my characters usually stay the same. I might change how important they are at most.
     
  11. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Exactly. the characters stay basically the same (although I recently changed one guy from 'good' to 'bad', hehe, but I kept his general characteristics, I just developed them a little further out of the original one) but their relation to each other can change too as well as the plot, at least for me. I like playing with different ways of letting a character show different parts of his characteristics.
     
  12. IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer
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    IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer Member

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    For me, there will usually be a small number of characters, plot points, and setting elements that remain relatively (and stubbornly) stable, but the rest go through multiple iterations of dramatic transformation.

    In my case, this is generally a good thing: looking back I generally think my initial vision looks incredibly trite and cliched in comparison.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What matters is the end product, not how close it was to the original spark.
     
  14. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Characters evolve as you write about them and get to know them better, and the story will often change to accommodate them. Don't fight it, just go with it and see where it leads you.
     
  15. mootz
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    I only once wrote something exactly like I originally pictured it and to be honest I greatly tweaked the climax on that one as well. So it happens a ton.
     

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