As some of you know, I’ve decided to juggle two stories. And it’s actually going well, as well as new projects go for me anyway. But when I first talked about it, writing buddy Karla said something about combining them! 😮
And I wondered…I knew it wouldn’t work because they’ve been in my head for months already. “Whisper” for over a year and Phantom Silence for about 8 months, but I played through it anyway to see what I would lose in each idea if I did (because once she mentioned it, I just couldn’t stop myself!)
To summarize (cause no one sane wants to take that trip with me!), I would end up losing them both. The plots had nothing in common. The MCs had nothing pliable in common. And the biggest thing, the plots weren’t lacking anything to begin with. If I took anything from either story, not only would I have too much going on in the receiving story, the other story would fall apart. I would have to concoct an entirely new story in the old cauldron to get it to work.
But it got me thinking about the nature of merging. After all, I was convinced that if I’m going to merge two ideas together, I had better do it early. Like super early. For me, this means I have to combine them before I have an MC attached to the plot, and since I’m a character-driven author, this severely limits my choices.
Or does it?!
Because I have some characters in a shelved story that I so badly wanted to revive in a new plot. Finding a plot that will work for these people had yet to produce anything, but once my brain got to working, there was hope. Glorious hope. And unbeknownst to me, my brain was working out a solution for not only that shelved story, but another defunct idea, as well.
One night, as I was loitering on the computer, (okay, okay, I was on Netflix watching Futurama) I suddenly started taking notes, without a plan, the best kind of brainstorming (haha). After a couple of pages, I looked at them and realized that this story was perfect for MC Riley, headliner of the defunct idea entitled “The Queen of Diamonds.” (Though I might be in for a title change now.) And I was like, whoa! I love that MC, but I just couldn’t do the original story. It was constantly falling apart, and I was forced to file it away. (Ya know, because something was like extremely wrong.)
There are a lot of moving parts that I need to fit together, but it’s now in the plowable plot bunny field! (aka, the first place I look for my next project when I finish something.) This is SO exciting! Because I not only have a huge girl-crush on MC Riley, I also have a huge CRUSH crush on the two of the 4 characters I’ll be pulling from the shelved project. I promised her I would fix her story, and I promised those people I would find a way to revive them because they were fantastic, and my brain came through for us all! It took me a year, but it finally happened! hugs brain
Without even realizing it, a new plot emerged and absorbed these homeless characters that were running around rampant in my head, characters I thought I would never get anything for (though that didn’t stop me from being crazy and trying). And I realized, I was able to fuse these pieces together so seamlessly because the fragments had enough elements common. They were both fairy-tale-esque, the MC in one of them was being replaced anyway, and the villains in both are the same gender with similar psychotic personalities (done on accidentally on purpose because when I was working on “The Queen of Diamonds” I knew this other idea would be shelved).
But the most important thing of all…both stories needed a major makeover to be truly functional. (Emphasis on Major)
And just like that “The Queen of Diamonds” and my little awesome characters were reborn.
Behold the power of fusion! ^_^
(Thanks to Karla for inspiring this!)
On a semi-related note: I came across this writing analogy a couple of weeks ago: Sometimes in our writing journey, when hope is scarce or nonexistent, it’s like pushing your broken down car up a hill, in the heat, by yourself. And not the “nice” dry Nevada heat, no, the horrible, wet, humid, suffocating Georgia heat. Along the way, however, someone comes along and puts gas in your dried out tank. And suddenly, you have air conditioning! And not only that, you don’t have to push your car anymore?! For a while anyway. 🙂 So even if you still have a long way to go, you’ve gotten a much needed boost along the way. I say this because, if you’re one of those people currently pushing your car up a hill, don’t give up, a boost is coming. ^_^
Anywho, here’s an awesome diagram that I found on Twitter last week:
— iAuthor (@i_Author) March 27, 2014
So true. ^_^