Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Reading Stories While Writing Stories

Oops, look like Valentines day totally passed me by. I didn't even notice until I saw all the blog post popping up about it! I have to say I'm not much for the minor holidays like Valentines. The only holidays that I really celebrate are New Years, Easter, sometimes Halloween and Christmas. (And NaNoWriMo. But I don't think that's an official holiday. Yet. :p) So happy belated Valentines day to those who celebrate it!

And now, to the real post!

My story has been deciding to go in a vaguely different direction, especially in regards to the main character and the ending. Well, actually, I take that back. Everything is deciding to turn on it's ear. My main character is deciding that his personality will change some, the villain wants to be more powerful and sneaky, and much much more cunning than before. The ending can't decide whether it wants to be uplifting or depressing. Depending on which way the ending decides to be the character arc may have to be redone. But, these changes are for the good. I think.

I can never be sure though. Especially when I've been reading other stories. If I read things while I'm working on an idea the idea can morph into something laughable as I attempt to bring in some aspects of what I've been reading into what I've been writing.

Hah, you should have seen what happened when I was reading The Fellowship of the Ring! Poems - poems! - ended up all over the place! And, my gosh, there was even a song. A very horrible song that would make me embarrassed if I were to go back and read it. But thankfully I didn't waste all those thousands of words, for the more refined version of what is now The Chronicles of Siron came from there.

But, you see, this is why I'm wary of going along with these new ideas that are plaguing me. Are they really for the good? Or, three months from now, will I be looking at tens of thousands of words of garbage, wishing I had never went with those new ideas?

But I don't see the damage in these ideas. I mean, they're not poems, thank God! Just some stuff to make my story, my characters in particular, much stronger.

The ending on the other hand, I'm still very indecisive on that.

So, I've got some more stuff to figure out now, all because I decided to get back to reading a lot. . .

Sometimes I just wish I could stop reading completly until I was finished writing a story, but unfourtunately I would die.

Do you find that reading other stories does this to you? That there's just something you have to put in your story after reading so and so book? Have you ever regretted it?


Claudie A. said...

Write down the new ideas anyway, BookOwl! You don't want to forget them, or you'll be hitting your head on a solid desk when you realise they were good.

And yes, reading stories almost always does this to me. I'll admit, however, I tend to take more after the style than the actual ideas, and soon enough my own voice takes over again. Reading Kay made me want to augment the scope of my two WIPs, though, which I did.

If the new ideas confuse you too much, you might need to decide what's at the heart of your story. What do you want your readers to take away from it? Once you know that, you can check if the new elements contribute to the core, or if they get in the way.

And good luck figuring it out!

Margo Berendsen said...

Nothing you ever write is wasted! I firmly believe that! Sometimes I get frustrated because I'll get ideas that I just have to write out about while I'm desperately trying to finish my current project (like RIGHT NOW - THANK YOU FOR YOUR AMAZING ENCOURAGING KEEP WRITING COMMENT) (and YES NANOWRIMO is totally worth celebrating as HOLIDAY!!!!!)

But those writing tangents, as I call them, are still worth the time. You should read Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones. Amazing!

Margo Berendsen said...

YAY! I just noticed your progress chart on your sidebar. But I don't see January's word count up there yet! looks like you might need some encouragement, too! It's half way through February already! Do you tweet? I have three people now that tweet their #writegoal with me, and that's really helping me too. I'm @writerWyoming

Book Owl said...

Claudie A.- Yes, you're probably right. I'm leaning towards these ideas anyway, they're irresistible.

When I get ideas from other stories they tend to grow away from it into something else, all my ideas morph and change over time until they're unrecognizable from where they started. Writing styles on the other hand, I love to try to write in different styles that I loved reading!

I think I pretty much know what I want. The ideas that I'm taking from the stories I've been reading will make things harder for my MC and the personality traits I want should deepen MC's and villains personality.


Margo Berendsen- I believe that as well but sometimes it just feels like a waste of time! And that's what happened to me! I got this whole new crazy awesome idea that I've had to put on hold despite how much I want to write it D:


I'll check out that book.

The reason there's nothing up for January (or February) is because I haven't started writing yet. I've just been planning and trying to outline. But I think I won't be able to keep myself from writing for very much longer, I'll probably start writing in a week or so.

Yes I tweet! That sounds fun and helpful! I'm @WritingBookOwl, I'll tweet soon!