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A discussion to stoke your writing fire.
Posted: 9/4/2008 1:02 PM PDT
MomoOkayasu -- That is a big change! Congrats on finding the courage to take such a radical shift in direction. Many a story fails because the writer doesn't have the guts to make major changes, even when inspiration hits them on the head. Your new idea has a lot more conflict and juice in it than the first.
Now for the hard truth: You probably can't make a change like this just by tweaking a few scenes. I'd recommend starting by creating new character profiles for each of your characters. Decide how they different from the old characters, and how they've changed. This will give you an idea of what sorts of changes the plot might require. For a cool approach to thinking about character and conflict, check out this guest post in the WEbook blog: http://blog.webook.com/webook_blog/2008/08/webook-writin-1.html.
After you've spent some time reinventing your characters, go through your story and find thing that you think you can keep. Don't look for things you have to change. Start from the assumption that you'll have to change everything, and then find scenes, moments, even single sentences that can make the transition.
Then get rid of everything else and start from scratch. I know this may not be welcome advice, but in my experience it's the best approach. You'll probably be surprised by how much of the original you retain in your head, and how much easier it is to write this second draft than it was to write the first. I myself have had the experience of losing a story and having to recreate it from scratch...then the old story turns up, and it turns out that I managed to get the best bits in verbatim, while the parts that weren't working fell away naturally. Wipe your hard drive -- a great revision trick!
I read once that some notable writer (can't remember who) used this technique: He wrote and wrote, and as soon as he realized that he needed to change something, he drew a line, and from that point on wrote as if the change had been in effect from the very beginning. In other words, if halfway through a first draft he realized that his main character was a 16 year old boy from Tokyo, rather than the 45 year old woman from Kansas he'd been writing about, he just drew a line, and then wrote as if the character had been a 16 year old Japanese boy all along. He never went back and changed anything until he was all the way through a draft, because he never knew what new inspirations might hit, compelling him to change everything all over again. You've already made it through your first draft -- so now go back and re-write everything as if your character's lover had been her enemy in a past life all along!
Good luck with your book!
Posted: 9/4/2008 8:15 AM PDT
My project 2012 was my NaNo story for last November. I've been editing and revising it for almost a year, trying to make it better and more interesting when I thought of something that others I talked with agreed it sounded like a smart change and it adds a little more conflict to my character's situation when she finds out.
It's about her past life and the end of the world and the original idea was that she's in love with her best friend and he turns out to be the reincarnation of the guy she was in love with in her past life. Well, I switched it so that he's the reincarnation of the man who killed her and the guy she was in love with is now a man she can't stand.
My problem is that I've never done a huge change like this before and I'm having trouble changing scenes so that it plays effectively and if anyone has any tips or suggestions on the best way of going about it, I'd really appreciate it.