Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Diverging Story Lines

There’s a manuscript that I’ve had in the back corner of my closet for a while. I wrote it with the intent of using it to get an agent, so I sent it out with that purpose. It didn’t get any notice, so I let it sit there. I liked the story, but the more I let it sit the more I thought about how other people might not get it. Then I started thinking of things I could do to change it. So, I’ve been revamping it.

The interesting thing is that I could reuse most of the text and plot from the first three fourths of the manuscript with only minor changes. However, the closer I get the end the more the manuscript has to change for it to go with the new story. It seems odd that the actions for the first story and the one I’m working one are almost the same in the first part, but it diverges more and more as we approach the end. I’m finding that I’m deleting more than I’m keeping in the last part of the book. Of course, anything I delete has to be replaced with something new. In the first story, one of the protagonists had to learn not to be so much a snob. In this story, there is villain to overcome, but she isn’t obvious until late in the book. Up to that point, the protagonist is making some of the same decisions that he did before, but now it is from a different motive. In part, it is from the opinion of the villain that he makes these decisions, but the other characters are able to do pretty much the same thing as before. Once the villain is revealed, the protagonist has to move in a different direction because now he must find a way to reverse some of the mistakes he made in the first part of the story in order to defeat the villain.