1. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

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    Writing the Second Adventure Before the First?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by LastMindToSanity, Jun 22, 2018.

    I've got this story idea. In the story, this guy, named Doc, goes to several alternate realities to find people he deems useful to him. He needs to gather people to stop his brother who is doing the same thing. His brother is attempting to force all realities together and, in the resulting confusion, make himself leader of this new, singular reality.

    But I've found a problem. In order for Doc to decide that people he gathers are good enough, he went through their lives and adventures. What I'm trying to say here is that every MC in this story will have, themselves, already gone through their own "big adventure" (I mean the kind that would go into a book).

    Now, this doesn't mean that the characters won't grow throughout the story, just that they are already mature adults (At least, most of them are mature).

    You see, if I write each of their stories individually, before I write the story that is the subject of this post (I'll call it "Subject Story" from now on), I'm worried that some people won't have seen every character when they pick up the Subject Story, and feel like the other characters just appeared out of nowhere. However, if I write the Subject Story first, then the reader will know each of these characters, and be able to the read about the adventure that made them who they are in the Subject Story.

    But, if I write the Subject Story first, with all of these characters who already have a past that they would reference a lot- Oh, right, I should mention that each MC's reality runs on it's own set of rules (Magic, history, geography, etc.), which would definitely be referenced by them- I'm worried that the readers will feel overwhelmed by the five, maybe six different worlds that come with each character all in one story.

    Another point: If I write the individual characters' stories first, then the reader will go into this story knowing all of the characters and wouldn't be troubled by each different world that comes with them.

    Finally, I could just not write the individual stories, but then I would have these five, maybe six worlds that are barely explored and it would leave a sour taste in my mouth to just let them go after creating MCs for each of them.

    I guess, I'm asking what the general public thinks. Which adventure should I write first? The collaborative Second Adventure, or the discrete First Adventure?
     
  2. Dragon Turtle

    Dragon Turtle Deadlier Jerry

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    I think you could get away with collaborative Second Adventure first, if you did it really well. It kind of sounds like something Diana Wynne Jones would have written. Which means it could be awesome. Probably hard to pull off, though. So... how confident are you in your writing skills? :)
     
  3. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

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    My first inclination would be to say "write the First Adventure" first. I've always felt that prequel stories are undermined by the fact that at least part of the outcome is already known.

    On the other hand, your situation feels like it might actually be better to go with the Second Adventure first. It's the story you most want to write, right? Then you should get it out there while it's still fresh. Plus, unless you're going to mention who lives/dies/crucial ending details of the First Adventure, it won't take much away from those stories to put the big one first. ALSO, I feel like in your case writing the First Adventures second would be like adding on appendices to the main story. The audience has been introduced to the characters, and now they have the chance to read about the ones they're interested in.

    In the end, though, I think it comes down to the "overwhelmed" bit. If the details of each individual world are important to progressing the plot, and would be needed to be known at multiple points during the story, then yes, I would say it would be too much for some readers and you should write the other books first. Maybe market them in a way to say that the Second Story should come after the others, but I know next to nothing about marketing, so I dunno. I digress.

    If only a few details about the rules of each world's workings are necessary, or if the rules can be learned then forgotten (i.e. MC-1's rules are only important for chapters 2-5 and then MC-2's rules come into play) then you could probably keep the rate at which you introduce new rules to the reader low enough for them to grasp everything. Backstories of your MCs shouldn't be a problem for reader comprehension. Even if they come from different worlds, a backstory is a backstory. Readers need to keep track of them for characters anyway.

    In summary, and assuming that you view your Second Adventure as the most important story: while I prefer for stories to be told in causal order, I think that you should put the Second Adventure first and treat the MCs' individual stories as more of an "extended universe" type thing -- a bonus for readers who liked those characters. The only reason I would put the other stories first is if readers would need to know details of the rules of all worlds at all times, purely to avoid overwhelming the readers (I'm sure a number of readers would be able to follow everything anyway, but this might make room for a wider audience).

    Oh yeah, one more thing. If you decide to write the First Adventures first, I strongly recommend hinting somewhere that the Second Adventure will happen, however subtly. Put a common thread in there somehow (maybe mention Doc watching each MC at some point). Otherwise, I know I'd feel like the Second Adventure is... I'm not quite sure what the right term is, but that the whole story came out of nowhere just to bring back old characters, if you catch my drift. I've seen similar things done without those hints, and I never got the feeling that the "big" adventure was anything other than a fanfiction written by the author in such cases (or a cash grab, in the case of things like crossovers).
     
  4. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

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    Moderately confident? I think that I can pull it off, given enough time.

    There shouldn't be too many huge spoilers in the Second Adventure. I mean, one of the MCs, Nixi (The name is a work in progress), ends her First Adventure by successfully running away from a threat that gets dealt with in the Second Adventure. The most we get out of May is a brief description of her adoptive family (The MCs of her First Adventure. She also talks about one of the family that dies in the First Adventure, but the death happens early on.), as well as an explanation about who one of the enemies in the Second Adventure is. Gabriel and Ryker's First Adventure is just a really difficult case (They hunt supernatural creatures), so there isn't any really big spoilers that can come from that. The Second Adventure is Doc's First Adventure. And Doyle's First Adventure is a particularly difficult heist, but he never feels the need to talk about it.

    No, the details of every world isn't something that the reader needs to know at all times. Only when the MCs go to those worlds.

    Yeah, this.

    Thanks! This was actually my biggest worry.

    Well, when you put it this way, it actually has a nicer appeal to me. I'm just glad that this idea has an appeal.

    Yes, actually, the First Adventure is told from the perspective of Doc, as he searches for people to recruit to his cause. Hell, he even appears in person at the end of Nixi's story to save her from danger as well as recruit her.
     
  5. LastMindToSanity

    LastMindToSanity Contributor Contributor

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    Thanks for the advice guys. I feel more confident in my course of action now.
     
    SolZephyr and Dragon Turtle like this.

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