Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Is It A New Version Of The Old Scene, Or The Old Version Of The New Scene?

As I'd alluded to last Friday (10/14), withdrawing from Facebook has done wonders for my writing, 'cause instead of participating for hours on end in stimulating conversations with friends and strangers, I'm using that same amount of time wastage in the fruitful pursuit of writing, which in this case is a novella, and various run-on sentences masquerading as paragraphs.

Anyways, I'm making some very good progress as I've been forcing myself to hit a minimum daily goal of 500 usable words (about one page) of text. The good thing about this particular story is that it's keeping my interest in the same way that the novel I'm currently shopping around did back in 2010. In other words, while I'm pursuing my day-to-day activities, I'm also using a little bit of that time to think about what I need to write next.

Now thinking about what I need to write next has allowed me to luxury of exploring the original version of this novella to see what I could pilfer and apply to this current version. After spending about a good half hour or so (the original was only 21 1/2 pages long), I found about four scenes and a couple of character descriptions that I could transplant over to the new version. I'd also found something else that was very interesting. Or peculiar. Or troubling.

I'd found that both versions contain quite a bit of the same elements of plotting, scenery and structure. I'm not sure whether I'd consciously decided to write the new version with the same elements as the old version, but if I did, I sure did a one helluva job of tapping my memory of a two year old story.

To whit:

1} Both versions contain/will contain a comparable level of violence that I have consciously stayed away from for the past six years, but seems to fit for the type of plotting that each story contained.

2} Both versions have an MC who pick up an unwanted sidekick for their adventure: original version has a female hybrid/human protagonist with a male imp, the new version has a male hybrid/human protagonist with a female hybrid partner. Both of which, I might add, melded their character/personality/whole beings with their respective MC's.

3} Both versions have the basic plot idea of vengeance, but each one has their own unique twist: original version the MC has 72 hours to find the culprit and change back to a human; the new version had the male MC trying to make a delivery, but quickly switches to preventing a contract being carried out on himself.

4} Both versions take place in an universe where fantasy blends with reality: original version has elements of Hell and the occult mixed in with the real world, the new version probably won't have a heavy emphasis on the occult but does have an emphasis on magic and the paranormal.

5} And finally, both versions will have some graphic sex, as I decided to transplant one of the graphic sex scenes from the first and use it in the second.

So my question to those of you who write: do you experience a similar situation, in that when you're writing a particular story, a few trace elements from a dead partial make it into your new story without really being conscious of it?

And for those of you who don't write, my question to you is this: do you find any of this stuff interesting, or do your eyes have a tendency to glaze over and you zip on through to the next item in your reader?


  1. Yes - I use elements and bits and pieces in new stuff all the time. Then I feel like writing what I ended up not finishing before was a little less tragic, as I can recycle things.

  2. R: Makes sense.

    It's funny how I'm remembering certain things not only for this story, but other stories/blog posts as well. I'm in the midst of creating a nifty three part post and I'm recycling a few themes from other pieces of flash that I wrote years ago.

  3. It's interesting hearing the process you go through. I write, but not fiction.

  4. Lynn: Thanks. Makes me curious to know what you do write.

    Anywho, I was always curious on whether or not people found some of my personal writing updates interesting or dull as dirt. Especially since that these kind of posts always generated the fewest comments.

  5. That's a good strategy. set a goal and if you don't always hit it at least you are making progress. I have done that in the past but right now I'm not able to, and it's not because of facebook or blogger but for other work reasons.

  6. Charles: Thanks.

    I'm trying to add a little bit of structure to the current chaos that is my writing, and I think that in the long run it should help.

    I did before when I was writing Line 21, in that I set a daily goal of 750 words per day, and that was probably the main reason as to why I finished the first draft in about 2 1/2 months.

  7. I think it's interesting to hear what your writing has been up to.

    Interesting that different story lines to the same title are drawing the same plot style elements unconsciously. Maybe because that's what you learned to do the first time? Easier the second time-

    Some things I always do the same, as a matter of personal writing style, but most projects differ alot in subject n target audience.
    I run into that similar chord thing more in the song writing, tho do some different genres.

  8. Snaggle: Thanks.

    I'm not sure whether it's easier the second time around, but it sure has been spooky with the first story lightly bleeding into the second.

    I'm not sure how it's gonna play out in the end, but maybe when I'm finished with the second one, I'll be able to revisit the first one and see what I can fix up in it and possibly complete it as well.

    Does writing songs in the same chords somehow make them sound interchangeable?


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