Thursday, August 27, 2009

Changing Gears On a Story

So I was reading a fellow writer's blog this morning ( where she mentioned that she is changing the characters/direction of a story she had started for submission for a holiday themed story. In fact, Devon instant messaged me last night while I was on line to ask me what I thought.

Originally, she had thought to make this holiday story the romance of one of her secondary characters from her soon-to-be published story, Remarkable Restraint. But as she got into writing it and the character (Andy) she decided Andy deserved more to his story then the short little holiday romance she was writing. Ultimately, as I read in her blog today, she has decided to take Andy out of the holiday story and make it two other new characters so she can give them their cute little tale and concentrate more fully on Andy's HEA in the future.

I had a similar experience recently. When I began The Best Gift (my own holiday themed story), it was NOT a holiday themed story. Dustin and Malcolm were supposed to be the heroes in Ticket to Ride (my song-titled themed story for Amber Quill). But as I was beginning their story it simply didn't feel right for the characters. What I had happening to Malcolm was not working in my opinion.

And then, I saw the Nelson Brothers (Ricky's sons) at the airport and got an idea for Chad Storm, a singer of a formerly famous rock band, and the murder of his ex-boyfriend, and the cop, Jack, who catches the case. They seemed much better for Ticket to Ride and so I wrote their story for that title (and am getting SO close to having it finished).

But this left poor Dustin and Malcolm out in the cold. My dear CP, Ava March, liked this couple and encouraged me to come up with something new for them, not just abandon them to the trash bin, and thus The Best Gift, my holiday story, was born.

So, I am a firm believer, as writers, we should write what feels like it fits to us. I could have forced Dusty and Malcolm into Ticket to Ride but I think it would have sucked.

If something isn't working, ask yourself why. Is there something you could do to make it work? Change the story? Change the characters? Change the Point of View in the scene? Change the setting? Change your characters from a hero and heroine to a hero and a hero (like I will be soon)? Don't abandon all hope when something isn't quite working.

1 comment:

  1. Way to take that thought and run with it! You nailed the agony of my conflict, knowing that the characters weren't meshing with the story and trying to find the guts and confidence (and humility)to say 'enough already!' and come at it from a different approach. Admitting you have a problem is the first

    I'm already hard at work today on the holiday story, and it's actually flowing again now that I've taken Andy out of it. Poor guy will have to wait for his HEA, but I've promised him I'll make it worthwhile!