Have you ever been pushed into unexpected and unavoidable expansions of your story?


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Thread: Have you ever been pushed into unexpected and unavoidable expansions of your story?

  1. #1

    Have you ever been pushed into unexpected and unavoidable expansions of your story?

    When I first wrote and completed my book, Abandoned, I never once thought I would be adding to it. After all, nobody seemed upset: "Sunday morning I sat down to read a couple of pages and couldn't put it down until I had finished it." (Avis Christoff)

    As far as the book's conclusion, I didn't set out to do this on purpose but it sort of ended like Dances With Wolves; leaving the viewer to just imagine what happened to them after they left the village. Nothing like my story except this comparison, but many times I have seen things end like this, leaving me to use my imagination at the very end. Maybe this is a style of writing or a technique and even has a special name. I have no idea. Anyhow, so why did I add part two?

    Mainly because my dear old father kept asking for more. He was approaching his 90s and I wanted to please him. But write what? Hm...once again the old peculator upstairs began to ponder that question. And talk about a slow brew because it took a year before I knew what to do. I wonder if this has ever happened to other authors? After I finished writing Part Two, again I felt completely satisfied but wow, my book had grown from 9 chapters to 36 (still not a long book to read because many chapters are short).

    So the completion of this final and last part took place several years ago and again, I was completely happy with the way I had spliced the two together (parts 1 & 2). And my father was happy. End of story, no, because I stumbled upon something that just blew me away. That happened in San Angelo, Texas while visiting my mother-in-law.

    While my wife was talking to her mother and me needing something to do, I reached over and grabbed the Sunday paper (I saved it and still have it). Hm...a story about a nun. A story about a nun and the Indians who originally had settled this area of Texas. But that was historically impossible. And then as I read more, wow!!! And I remember thinking how I just had to tell people about what I just discovered. But how? Write a new book? Or, could I add it as part three?

    I really wanted to do this badly, especially after ordering and reading several reference books mentioned in the newspaper article. Plus this discovery was firing off other wonderful comparisons that I could make. But now I was confronted with a much greater challenge. Could I make it all work and end up with a book that still read original; was believable & interesting without anyone noticing the seams I forced to make? Or would it come across as some deformed hodgepodge? I certainly hope not & I today I still wonder if this has ever happened to anyone else; in one way or another forced to add more parts to their story.
    Last edited by REBtexas; January 23rd, 2020 at 12:43 PM.
    "Actually, not to keep the secret of a King is perilous and a terrible risk, but to be silent about the works of God is a great loss for the soul." (Saint Sophronius)

    My books are free. Please read the first chapter (who knows, maybe more). Abandoned is a religious-historical thriller, recently published over on Hidden Content

  2. #2
    It seems my stories have went in directions that seemed unavoidable and I couldn't have exactly what I want ideally, but maybe that's a good thing, and it's killing your darlings to speak. Or maybe it's not trying hard enough to make it the best it can be? Not sure on that one still.

  3. #3
    Writing can certainly take us down unexpected paths. That's what makes it so fun.
    "Actually, not to keep the secret of a King is perilous and a terrible risk, but to be silent about the works of God is a great loss for the soul." (Saint Sophronius)

    My books are free. Please read the first chapter (who knows, maybe more). Abandoned is a religious-historical thriller, recently published over on Hidden Content

  4. #4
    Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Just when I think I have my story all planned out on paper or in my head, my characters, invariably, come barging in and demanding unexpected scenes, making new revelations and customizing their own dialogue. I guess that's real organic writing, when the story demands and takes a life of its own. Something always changes, hopefully for the better. I don't feel like the boss of the manuscript. I feel like I'm taking dictation.
    Blog: Guerilla Warfare For Writers:Hidden Content

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  5. #5
    The one concern I have about it is the themes changing and becoming inconsistent, cause if a character changes a theme, than it can throw off the intended meaning of the story then of course.

  6. #6
    Very good reply, Chris. I like that: Organic Writing. Sounds like you've been around the block a couple of time
    "Actually, not to keep the secret of a King is perilous and a terrible risk, but to be silent about the works of God is a great loss for the soul." (Saint Sophronius)

    My books are free. Please read the first chapter (who knows, maybe more). Abandoned is a religious-historical thriller, recently published over on Hidden Content

  7. #7
    Definitely valid concerns there, ironpony. I think if you set out to make banana pudding, then at the end it should be banana pudding. Otherwise, write two separate books.
    "Actually, not to keep the secret of a King is perilous and a terrible risk, but to be silent about the works of God is a great loss for the soul." (Saint Sophronius)

    My books are free. Please read the first chapter (who knows, maybe more). Abandoned is a religious-historical thriller, recently published over on Hidden Content

  8. #8
    Oh okay thanks. Well let's say you write a story, and the characters are throwing the theme off as the story becomes more complicated. In the end, if you had choose, what is more important. Organic character and plot development, or the themes you want the readers to feel? If the story cannot have both, and you had to pick one?

  9. #9
    Hi Reb, welcome to WF!

    I can actually relate. Thinking I was nearing a conclusion for my WIP, it suddenly occurred to me that I had no antagonist! I just had this nice story about a group of people and how they mingled and lived their lives; how fate pulled them together and so on. But there's no tension, no anxiety. So now I am thinking of going back to the very beginning and inserting this character that is going to cause chaos and upheaval throughout! Sheesh! I mean seriously, why didn't I notice this at the beginning? And I have to make it believable - don't want any to think, who would behave that way, who would bother this nice group of people? Ha ha - I guess that's why writing is fun; you never know what's going to happen until you type "The End."

    Can I just suggest you make more individual, smaller paragraphs in your posts? It was a little hard to read in one big block - but a good one!
    When the night has come
    And the land is dark
    And the moon is the only light we'll see
    I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
    Just as long as you stand by me.


  10. #10
    Yes, Thanking you kindly for the advise. Wishing you the very best in 2020.
    "Actually, not to keep the secret of a King is perilous and a terrible risk, but to be silent about the works of God is a great loss for the soul." (Saint Sophronius)

    My books are free. Please read the first chapter (who knows, maybe more). Abandoned is a religious-historical thriller, recently published over on Hidden Content

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