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How To Choose 'Versions'...?

Discussion in 'Creative Zone' started by Saraceaser, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. Saraceaser

    Elfea
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    ('Versions' was the best word I could come up with at the moment.)

    I was wondering if something: Let's say you're getting through your story, figuring out the overall plot and the like. But part of the way through, you realize there are two different ways your story can go, but you can't decide which one you like more; either the original way you wanted the plot to go, or the newer way which would make things more interesting (or whatever).

    What should you do then, and how do you choose?

    (May or may not be currently experiencing this dilemma...)
     
  2. Negative Zero

    Negative Zero The most positive negative number you know!

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    For me, that would depend on a balance of how much planning effort I've put into the "original version" compared to how much I anticipate I will like the "new version" better.

    I actually use something like this as my own writer's-block-smasher. I'll keep on writing paragraphs of new branched timelines (or versions) until I like one of them. I guess this might mean I'm predisposed to the new version, but it's always going to be a calculation on my part.
     
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  3. Saraceaser

    Elfea
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    Huh, that's actually a good point... I might just do that, thanks for the telling me that! It would be easier to choose if I were to actually write out how the different branches would affect the overall plot, after all. Cool, thanks for the help!
     
  4. Negative Zero

    Negative Zero The most positive negative number you know!

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    More specifically what I do is in my document, I'll make a whole page-width line of some letter to split it apart, then I'll type one possibility in orange text, another in pink, another in green, and so on until one of them I like and then I backspace all the others and turn the color to 'automatic color' again. And I'm not afraid to type something ridiculous, because it might open the door to something awesome! What you could do as far as the planning how it affects the future of the entire plot is to add in some parenthesis in the same color text of how this might change the plot: will it make the villain even angrier, will it remove one character from the story for a while, will it add in a new character or give someone a phobia or a reputation, or will it actually screw up the heroes' plans in the long run? One of the things about this method is that it keeps you writing and moving toward some conclusion, and you're not just stuck between two versions, you've got as many versions as you can think of.
     
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  5. Wings

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    If the newer one is more interesting, I’d go with that one. But here’s the thing: you can’t let it screw up the previous chapters you already laid down. If your characters randomly change goals in the middle of the story for no legitimate reason, it’s going to look choppy and weird. If the ongoing plot doesn’t affect the canon chapters you previously wrote, then do it! Go for the new plot line! But if it doesn’t make sense, my advice would be to start over. Because you’ll never get rid of that urge to write the opposite plot line, and it’s going to bug you a lot.

    Hope this helps!
     
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  6. Saraceaser

    Elfea
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    That's an excellent way of writing, I've never heard of that way, before! I think I'll give that a go when I get to writing later today; it sounds like a fun way of writing and a perfect way to ease writer's block!

    Thank you so much for sharing this! :P

    Hm, this is a good point, thank you for the tip! It would be pretty weird if things just suddenly changed in the middle for no apparent reason. Alright, I think I know what to do, thanks a bunch! :)
     
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  7. Moonstruck-Mist

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    Oof. This was the same dilemma I had when deciding what to do with Ultra Light, and now Returning Darkness. But, I think it has to do with you and how you feel towards your characters. I really like mine, and I enjoy a happy story, but I know that hardships are real, and that might be what's made me write how I write. I let them decide their path - let them decide whether they'd stay with their friends or not. It may sound weird, but I understand my characters and who they are, because they're me - they're you. If you like it and you'd rather do it, then go ahead. It's not about how the story ends, but if you're happy with the way the story comes to a close. I've suffered this dilemma a hundred time, and every time is decided by if I want it or not. You decided your ending... That's all there is to it.
     
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  8. Gazi

    Gazi PKMN Ranger

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    I think it depends on what part of the story you're at. I'm in the middle of writing a Pokémon series, and when I was five or so chapters in I thought of an element that I really wanted to put in because it would be more exciting. I don't usually change where my story is going to go midway through writing it, especially when I post my stories as I go, but in this particular instance I was able to do just that because the element that I thought of involved two characters, neither of whom had been introduced in the story at all yet, so by the time I introduced them I was able to begin to lead up to the new moment that I had planned.

    If possible, I usually go for the more interesting story unless I'm too far into the writing to change paths. Then again, I don't usually completely plan out my stories anyways. I plan them out very loosely, just so I have a general idea of what's going on, but I leave it flexible enough for me to write whatever comes to me. I know that most people like to have more of a plan when writing, so I don't know how it would work out in that case.
     
  9. Nova Ozuka

    Nova Ozuka Collector

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    It's been a long time since I had that problem. I think I just automatically opted to go with the second one and strike out the original last time. That way I at least have the original to look at in case it had something I that I wanted to use later. I don't know. It was a few years ago, so I don't remember very well. All I can say is do whichever you think is best for the story, but more importantly try to have fun writing it.
     
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  10. SyWry

    SyWry PKMN Ranger

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    I totally get your struggle, because of how I write, this dilemma happens a lot. I tend to write knowing my characters, this means that I take a situation, throw my characters into it, have an end goal to reach, then let the story write itself. For the most part, this works because I know my characters like the back of my hand and know how they'd act or react under certain situations. This free flow with the dialogue and the in between often leads me going the direct opposite route I was shooting for (sometimes even missing themes I wanted to add). When this happens I have to accept the new route and adapt to the changing story or back peddle and find a new angle for the character to explore the problem. The way I decide this is rather simple, "what would the character most likely do" and I follow that angle. Usually when things start to derail and I'm okay with that, I have to find more creative ways to reach my intended destination or change the intended destination, but this is usually the rarest option since it might undermine something I had carefully planned out.

    I use a unique style of writing that I wouldn't suggest for everyone, one where I put a heavy emphasis on careful logic, cause and effect. This means that when I reach a divergence in the story like you describe or I described above, I generally go for the more logical option. If things go completely off the rail from what I originally planned, I will ask myself if this is a logical progression and if it is, then it stays. If I like the idea of a non logical progression, I'll mull it over and try to find a way to have it logically fit or consider it for a later part in the story where I can fit it better. Think I went on a bit of a tangent, hope it was helpful.
     
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  11. Wolf Expert

    Wolf Expert Master of Breaking Things

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    Moon Ball ★★★★Love Ball ★★★★★Premier Ball ★Friend Ball ★★★★Luxury Ball ★★★
    Hmm I've had this problem before. The issue is trying to make something more interesting, while at the same time not overly complicating it. I think that's mostly what you have to think about. Don't ever do something just for the shock value or it will just bring the rest of the story down.

    I think what it really comes down to is the point you want to get across or the overall theme of what you're writing, and choosing whichever version best illustrates it.
     
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