Morphing Ideas

13 Jun

The more I write, the more I realize that there’s a lot of change going on in my ideas. From the initial prompt and planning stage, the setting and nature of the characters has shifted radically. The story isn’t even on Earth anymore, and the main character has been fleshed out far beyond the point by which I usually stop to write. It really makes me wonder what’s so different about this idea than all the others.

Here are some of the possibilities:

  1. I’ve made the existence of this story public. I don’t usually do this, out of paranoia. Even now, did you see what I did here? I hated the fact that I relied on a prompt to get this story rolling, but at the same time I got so suspicious of what others would think or do with my idea that it was all I could do to say “there are dragons.” Previous works have never been put out there, even like that, with one exception. Even then, I turned it in late.
  2. It doesn’t take place in a world I’ve worked in before. Actually, it doesn’t even have the same genre as any story I’ve worked on before. And I haven’t read very much in this genre either–just bits and pieces. Yet I’m still doubly or even triply as enthusiastic about this project compared to past projects.
  3. I’m treating it as if I know nothing. This is explanatory in and of itself. I’m trying to let the characters tell the story, but when the characters stop talking I don’t just continue blathering on as if I know what I’m talking about. Let’s face it: I really don’t know what I’m talking about. And while I go on to admit this, I might as well get it in writing, too. Let the characters correct me when they will.
  4. I’ve written the ending first. Some people might think this is an elementary tactic to try, but in truth I’ve never been able to think that way. I’ve always had to write things from the middle outward, or from the beginning outward. But never the end first.
  5. I’ve committed myself to absolutely no research whatsoever. Usually, when I find myself in the beginning stages of a project, I’ll do all this research and planning on the characters and setting that the whole story just gets bogged down with unnecessary details. Right now, however, I’m just trying to take everything one step at a time. I can establish technology and world details as I move along with the draft; a full outline would be disastrous at this stage. And it helps that I started with character-building first, and not world-building. That way, the world can develop around the characters, rather than the other way around.

I’ve started the draft already, and already it looks as if it’s going to be pretty cohesive. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even take it off to the new Camp NaNoWriMo  for extra motivation during the desert that is supposedly the middle of the draft (seeing as I’ve never really seen one of my larger works off the ground, I’ve never seen this wasteland; but the prospect is exciting nonetheless).

All in all, I’ve never had a story morph so quickly from initial idea to the beginning of the draft. I don’t know if that’s a good sign, but I certainly hope so.

For people who might (but probably aren’t) wondering about my previous work, yes, it’s changed over the years. But those ideas have taken years to come to fruition, and even then they really aren’t fully worked out yet. In this scenario, if you subtract the initial fighting with the idea, trying to get it to fit the mold I wanted it to fit, we’re talking more along the lines of three to four days. It’s a big deal for me, and I certainly hope this early enthusiasm hearkens as a good omen as I continue to write.

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Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Writing


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