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Author Topic: Reboot or Retcon (Some issues with a current story)  (Read 72 times)

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Offline Akiba66

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Reboot or Retcon (Some issues with a current story)
« on: July 11, 2017, 05:11:00 PM »
So I've been writing this story on and off for the better part of the last 8 years and every time I came back to it I'd have new ideas. With each new idea I'd try to add more to the solid foundation I've come up with. I've done fine with sticking to the general story structure I've built but its the expansion that gets me. Every time I build on certain ideas i feel like I've added more wrinkles to the story but overall it feels like a different beast. Which has lead me to this question. Should i start fresh and incorporate the new ideas into the tale anew, or do i continue with what i got and just retroactively change as I go.

For reference I am talking about my Clash story which has been in limbo since about 2011. I want to finish it but its just how. I fear the whole retcon thing because it will make some stuff feel arbitrary. I mean its only 13 chapters in but there has been some solid development on the characters.

On the other hand rebooting Clash seems the better route for a buncha reasons. The main one being i can incorporate all the ideas and re-establish the rules and such. I'm also leaning toward this because I'm actually looking to produce actual manga pages of Clash, which will be more work but more fulfilling for me. The downside is that this means I kinda have to discard all the work that has been done which sucks.

So here's where you guys come in at. Do you have any suggestions or comments? Maybe someone else has run into this problem or a similar one?


Online Forlorn Serpent

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Re: Reboot or Retcon (Some issues with a current story)
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 05:23:52 PM »
I'm sure you know writing is re-writing. But, at some point, you have to commit. Just say this will be the last time you change the foundation of the story.

Online MahluaandMilk

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Re: Reboot or Retcon (Some issues with a current story)
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2017, 05:44:03 PM »
Forlorn's got a point. Drafting is a part of the creative process, just as much as editing and everything else. Nevertheless, if you get caught in the trap of constantly going back, you will have to exercise self-restraint.

I tend to work this out with myself by writing my entire plot skeleton from start to finish on paper, and then I arrange the events by writing them again in chronological order of how I want them to unfold, and then I determine how scenes should be presented, and when the outline looks good, I stick to it and write on.

Of course, as you're writing, new ideas may strike you, and it's good to let them in sometimes, but remember that you are the driver of the story, so you have to be the one to wring it in and have it under your control. Character muses may act up and alternate timelines may spring up in your mind, but they're in the backseat. You have no obligation to let them drive.

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Offline S8N

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Re: Reboot or Retcon (Some issues with a current story)
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2017, 06:26:39 PM »
I'm a heavy advocate for retcon. You can always change your story. As a struggling author who has his own series in limbo as well (Hell's Gate), I can tell you that I, for sure, have brainstormed new ideas for my current series. I rewrote the story 4 times already and am still not satisfied with the results.

There is a reason why revising is likely the superior option. Writers are always developing. I believe as people experience new things, the open up new paths in establishing their characters and plot. Going back to my personal anecdote, Hell's Gate started off in 6th grade when I used to roleplay with my friends. Back then, the name of the series was "Deception" and "The Shadow Lord"-- edgy stuff that makes me laugh nowadays. But reading that story again in high school made me realize that I loved writing, and was the driving factor that got me back into it (watching the TV and anime was another reason). Though I am still using the base of the story, much of the content have been altered (IE: The Title) to sound more mature and to be more engaging. I'll tell you this piece of advice: Don't let your past works be the foundations of your writing. Let it be a source of inspiration of what you can create.

Ultimately, the decision is up to you; make sure that if you create your story, you are satisfied with your results.
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S8N