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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » "Losing control"

Author Topic: "Losing control"
Member # 2879

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Any of you ever have to reign a story in? Here's my example.

Last night I sat down to write a particular scene that I've been mulling over for quite some time. However, the two characters in the scene had a different idea. They ended up having a conversation that I hadn't planned, and the story just flowed out and landed in my WIP novel.

I've re-read the scene now, and I quite enjoy it. It fits the plot, and moves the story forward, but was completely unexpected.

I find that for my novel, I don't really need to mull anything over... I just sit down and the characters seem so alive to me that they just move the story ahead themselves, at a pace that they deem OK.

Is this a problem? I worry that the book will end up too word heavy, and I'll have to carve it up a lot later during revisions. Or should I just let them tell the story that they think needs to be told?

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Member # 3619

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Tolkien is pretty word heavy but most people like him anyway. I think the difference between "word heavy" and "stylish" is just a matter of how relevant and how interesting those words are. If they keep my attention, and help me access your characters and conflict better, then be as wordy-heavy as you want.
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Member # 2733

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IMO, you should follow your muse at this stage. Later when it's time to revise/edit, then you can worry about the length and what trimming it might need.
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Member # 3079

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I've had things like that happen a lot. One character just walked on stage out of nowhere and took over the whole novel. Another time I was describing a character. I wrote that he was head and hallen of the division. I looked at what I'd written and said, What the xxxx is a hallen?
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Member # 8283

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I just had a house decide she wanted to become a character. She didn't ask me first, but there she is.
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Member # 7710

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My current WIP is a 64,000 word short story. Enuff said.
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Member # 7710

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What the? KDW-Help! please remove these extras!!!! Is this a new record for multiposts? I swear I pressed submit only once.

[This message has been edited by Cheyne (edited February 18, 2009).]

Wow! Quadruple post? I am IMPRESSED. But I deleted the extras. Congrats, Cheyne, you get today's prize (whatever it is), especially since you provided such a great example of the topic.

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited February 19, 2009).]

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Robert Nowall
Member # 2764

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Usually my stories pretty much stick to what's in the outline...but not always. My last completed story, the one I moan about not getting to the revisions every so often...well, about two-thirds of the way through it, I had a character who wasn't even in the outline wander up and start talking to the heroine. To this day I have no idea how she got there, though she seems to fit in with what's going on...
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Member # 8368

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Quite a lot of what happens in Book One just occurred to me as I was writing. There are even things that were in the outline that got dumped because the characters said they wouldn't do that. What they proposed turned out even better, I think.

My opinions (I have two of them) are:

1) If the change is character-driven, there's a good chance that it will turn out better than what you had planned.

2) If it's the first draft, don't try to edit it. Just let the story come out. Edits and revisions come later.

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Member # 6896

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You see the truth is everything you write is really happening to some real people somewhere is some alternate reality, it's called the multiverse. (Ever hear of Myst)

Seriously I'm told your characters come to speak to you when you write. I don't knwo what it emans yet but I'm going to find out one day. One Day = As soon as I get my cmoputer fixed.

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