Monday, May 9, 2011

So That's What I Planned to Write About!

Do you ever look back at your original notes for a story? When I do, I often find that my story has morphed into something completely different. So much for the preliminary synopsis and one-line summary that I wrote before I started.

The mental picture of Novel #4 that I had as I started jotting down those first, excitement-filled ideas is very different from the picture I have now, after all the cutting and layering and stopping to brainstorm "what if". Through the long process of writing and revising, the story I wanted to tell has changed.

It always surprises me when my stories always turn out to be much more serious than I originally think they will (even though I don't think other people would be surprised, since I'm a fairly serious person). Do your stories change a lot from the way you originally conceptualize them?

BTW, that other story? The one I initially dreamed up when I wrote the summary? It sounds really good. Maybe someday I'll write that one too.


  1. It depends how solid my original concept is. I'm a plotter, so I try to have a pretty good idea of major plot points (even if they're vague) before I start. Then, like you, I'll write a preliminary synopsis (in my case, I write it like a query letter) and a logline. I return to it when I feel lost in the narrative, but sometimes I go a completely different direction. Stories and characters have a tendency to take over--it's always fun when they surprise you :)

  2. I'm like Jess, I do have a plan, synopsis, etc. But things change as the characters begin asserting themselves. I try to keep these changes controlled to keep me on track, though.

  3. Things have definitely evolved in my current WIP. The kernel is the same, but oh man, it now gets into stuff I never knew I'd be writing about (and probably wouldn't have CHOSEN to write about, but hey, the story is the boss, right?). ;)

  4. One of my stories morphed from fantasy to contemporary. Weird. Good luck with yours.

  5. Wow! Brooke that's a huge change, but I'll bet it turned out to be a stronger story.

    Shari, sometimes my stories take me places I wouldn't have thought I'd be going, either. But it does help me change and grow as a writer, I think.

    Catherine, I wonder if you have any strategies for controlling your changes, e.g. How do you know which ones are not right for your story?

    Jess, those surprises can be one of the fun parts of writing!

  6. Yes! My current novel project started out as a MG and now it's a YA. And a lot more serious and mature. Who knew since I started writing primarily MG.

    Looks like you got the gift of one idea/two stories!

  7. Isn't it strange how they change so much? I don't know if it's ever been that different of a novel, but things do come up to surprise me! :-) (And the end of this post was really great. Haha!)


I love to hear your responses and thoughts! Your comments will appear after moderation (I’ve decided to enable moderation due to excessive spam).