Author Topic: Have you ever...  (Read 2784 times)

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Offline shester

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Have you ever...
« on: February 05, 2009, 12:36:22 PM »
had a conversation between John and Aeryn all planned out to the very last word, every detail around that conversation and yet couldn't get the story to get to there?

Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline KernilCrash

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Re: Have you ever...
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009, 04:59:48 PM »
Oh goodie!!! :veryhappy:  Another "have you ever"!!  :veryhappy:

GOOD question.  Yes, I have ... in varying degrees.  I'm probably more susceptible than some writers simply because I write stories out of order.  So I have had to either throw out or heavily modify later sections because the story didn't turn out quite the way I expected. 

Now I have to remember when it's happened!  :LOL: 

<runs off to look at the fics>

This one is a little "off" from what you're describing, but in Heaven's Gate, I had an entire confrontation between John and Aeryn written, and threw it out because I didn't like where the build up to the conversation took the story.  When I threw out both the build up to the conversation *and* the conversation itself, I gutted pretty much the entire story, including the title and the ending.  I wound up sitting in front of the computer :o thinking, "Okay ... now what?" 

Originally, when John got frustrated and used the Rotarri Drive to cut their trip back to Moya short, they got thoroughly lost.  I had a scene where Aeryn's been sleeping while John tries to figure out where they are, and she comes back into the cockpit to find pretty much the entire floor covered with equations and hand drawn star charts, with John sitting in the middle.  He figures out where they are, and they jump back to a spot close to Moya.  Later in the story, I had a "reveal" where it comes out that John realized they were in Orion's Arm ... which is to say 'home'.  Before he took them back to the UT's, he had already made the decision to stay with Aeryn. 

I threw all of that out mostly because it was what I call a 'cheap' emotional trigger.  It relies on everything built up during the show to create the pang, instead of doing the work within the story itself.  I think you can see that by having John remain uncertain about what he wants to do right up to the end of the story, the storytelling works better in terms of tension and keeping the reader hooked.  So there was a conversation all written that got heaved, along with a rather nice scene in the cockpit when John realizes what stars he is looking at (he's alone at that particular moment), and has to make a decision.

On the other hand, I never would have written that segment where he has to fix the engines, gets a bit frozen and they're in bed together ... which is one of my personal favorites.  :lovies:  I love John fixating on Aeryn's toes against the back of his ankle.  :melting:

I've already cut a couple of scenes out of Measure of Devotion.  It's not quite the same thing as not being able to get the story to a particular conversation, though.  It's more like realizing that the conversation or the scene doesn't belong in the story, and making an often difficult decision to delete it.  Now that I have the Wingnuts, I'm more aware of saving pieces that I decide don't fit into a story, and they will appear as "deleted scenes" at some point. 

I think the real answer is that if a conversation is important enough to the story -- in terms of plot or emotional build up or whatever -- that a writer will keep plugging until they get the story to the appropriate point so they can use it.  If the conversation, or ANY scene for that matter, is not critical to the storytelling or doesn't move the plot forward or takes the story in a poor direction, then it stands a chance of winding up on the cutting room floor.

Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline Nette

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Re: Have you ever...
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2009, 04:37:05 AM »
I am just about to read "Heaven's Gate" so this was very interesting.  Thank you Crash!!

I have read Cloths of Heaven and half way through Cholak's Demon at the moment, so I can't wait to get to the next story and that "ankle and toes" scene   :devil:

Thanks Sybil for another "Have you ever..."


Nette


ETA  After going back to the fic list to print some more stories I realised I am reading these in the wrong order   :doh:   :sorry:  Seems I'll get to "that" scene sooner than I thought   ;)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2009, 06:31:39 AM by Nette »

Offline KernilCrash

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Re: Have you ever...
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2009, 06:28:42 AM »
Nette, keep in mind that Heaven's Gate is the 2nd story, chronologically.  So if you've already read Cholak's Demon, HG fits in before it. 

And then, shifting without warning to the topic of Wingnuts, I've got the next few days free, so I'm hoping to get a Wingnut for Cloths of Heaven pulled together.  What I have to offer are some of the scenes from the original "Cloths of Heaven" that got almost entirely thrown out. 
Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline Nette

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Re: Have you ever...
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2009, 06:33:44 AM »
Hey Crash

I just realised that.  I was adding some text to my previous post.  Thanks for letting me know.


Nette

Offline Nette

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Re: Have you ever...
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2009, 06:36:09 AM »
New wingnuts    :redstars:    I can't wait!!


Nette

Offline shester

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Re: Have you ever...
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2009, 06:40:47 AM »
I like that scene you threw out but can see where it wouldn't go with the story.  Especially since I have read the trilogy and absolutely love it.  I can see John sitting in the middle of all those equations and realizing that he is home but only because Aeryn is with him and not because he is close to earth.  I think John has always known that Aeryn is his home even when they were estranged.  

I do love the ankle and toes scene. I can so see John being fascinated by that. :devil:

Do you keep notes on pieces of paper or only on your computer?  As you come up with ideas for a story do you go to the story and put the ideas in where you think they should go?  Did that make sense?  

Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline shester

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Re: Have you ever...
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2009, 06:41:14 AM »
New wingnuts    :redstars:    I can't wait!!


Nette


Ditto.

Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline Nette

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Re: Have you ever...
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2009, 06:43:45 AM »
I'm looking forward to this ankle and toes scene more and more now  ;)


Nette

Offline shester

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Re: Have you ever...
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2009, 06:44:30 AM »
I'm looking forward to this ankle and toes scene more and more now  ;)


Nette


It is so John. ;D

Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline KernilCrash

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Re: Have you ever...
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2009, 08:22:09 AM »
I like that scene you threw out but can see where it wouldn't go with the story.  Especially since I have read the trilogy and absolutely love it.  I can see John sitting in the middle of all those equations and realizing that he is home but only because Aeryn is with him and not because he is close to earth.  I think John has always known that Aeryn is his home even when they were estranged.  

And I think you can see how it would destroy the entire pacing and tension of the story ... which is exactly why I threw it out.  :agreed:  I loved the idea of John making the decision to stay with Aeryn, especially considering all the hurt he is carrying in the story, but it means the resolution shows up in the middle of the story, instead of at the end; plus (I think this is the most critical problem with the discarded plot) it's just TOO big a coincidence.  Of all the corners of the universe that they could have wound up in when the drive took them to the wrong place, they wind up within spittin' distance of Earth? 

Un unh.  :disagree:  WRONG!!!

:laugh:

Quote
Do you keep notes on pieces of paper or only on your computer?  As you come up with ideas for a story do you go to the story and put the ideas in where you think they should go?  Did that make sense?


For the most part, I keep notes on the computer.  If I get caught away from the computer with a superb thought for a story, I'll grab paper and get the gist of it down so I don't lose it, but my primary method of recording everything is the laptop ... which leads to the problem of deleting original versions and drafts, as well as why I'm a bit fanatical about backups.   

I read a fantastic article in a magazine a couple of years back that brought up the whole issue of the computer age and that authors no longer retain rough drafts of their stories because they get overwritten.  Writers, students, and people who love literature used to be able to look at a writer's original drafts and see how the great writers crafted their stories.  That entire educational process is being lost because of the computer.  Now that I've started this forum and the Wingnuts, I wish I had kept at least one of the early drafts of The Changeling just so everyone who is interested could see the versions that I didn't like.  It's a nuisance to keep rough drafts, but at least I'm more conscious of hanging on to entire scenes that I slice out of stories. 

As far as scraps or partial scenes, it's just so much easier to keep it on the laptop because I can cut and paste or rename files as necessary to keep everything in order.  My betareader, PKLibrarian, sometimes gets an early draft with entire chunks of the story missing if I'm checking to see if the plot is working.  She might get pages of what is close to finished story, and then hit something like this:

<<transition missing>>  ... or ... <<need to finish dialogue to explain [insert idea of your choice here]>>

So she knows that there's something missing and I'm not just being incoherent (which happens more often that I like to admit :laugh: ). 

Just keep in mind that this is my way of creating a story.  I know some writers don't send their stories to their betareaders until it's basically finished.  My technique varies depending on how well the story is going together and how secure I'm feeling about the storytelling. 

:idea:

What might be fun (for me, too!) would be to post an early "mess" of a story that I've just barely begun to get on the page, and then update it periodically, so everyone can watch it go from a snarl of disconnected scenes and slowly get transformed into something (hopefully) worth posting.  I need to get some fics moving first though, and I don't want to use anything that I have huge hopes for in terms of drama.  I wouldn't want to use my fic about John dealing with the rape, for instance, because I want everyone to read that as a finished product.  Let me rummage through the ones I've got started to see if there is a possibility in there. 


« Last Edit: February 08, 2009, 08:24:56 AM by KernilCrash »
Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline Nette

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Re: Have you ever...
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2009, 08:17:24 AM »


:idea:

What might be fun (for me, too!) would be to post an early "mess" of a story that I've just barely begun to get on the page, and then update it periodically, so everyone can watch it go from a snarl of disconnected scenes and slowly get transformed into something (hopefully) worth posting.  I need to get some fics moving first though, and I don't want to use anything that I have huge hopes for in terms of drama.  I wouldn't want to use my fic about John dealing with the rape, for instance, because I want everyone to read that as a finished product.  Let me rummage through the ones I've got started to see if there is a possibility in there. 


What a fantastic idea.  I would love to see one of your stories unfold.  Please can you do it Crash...please please please    :prayer2:

Oh and I read Heaven's Gate last night...love love loved it    :heartbeat:  especially that toe/ankle scene   ;)

Offline KernilCrash

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Re: Have you ever...
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2009, 08:32:51 AM »
So here's a question as a result of that toes-against-ankle scene:  Why do small moments like that work so well?  :mushy:  Is it because it shows intimacy in an unemphatic (not-too-graphic) manner?  Or is it just part of a 'snuggle' scene, which usually makes the women just melt?  Or what?  :ponder:  As readers, what is it about a scene like that one that makes you go all warm inside and puts a smile on your face? 

And yes, I think I've got a barely-started story that I can post as I go along.  What I want to do is clear out at least two other projects first, and make sure I'm actually settling down to write every day so I don't post it here and then leave it sitting for months (or years :-[ ).  My first priority is to get the next two chapters of Measure of Devotion finished up and posted.  (My apologies to everyone who is waiting until that one is finished before they dive in.)  After that, I'd like to get at least one short story completed before I tackle the one I think is a good candidate to share. 

Happiness is not a destination.  It is a method of life. -- Burton Hills
Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.  It's about learning to dance in the rain. -- Vivian Greene

Offline shester

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Re: Have you ever...
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2009, 12:25:05 PM »
I am with Nette I would love to see a story unfold with all the inside stuff.  That would be very, very interesting.  Thanks for doing that.

NC 17 stuff is wonderful but I also like the little things that just do it for the character.  And the toes and ankle thing just stays with you even after all the sex is done.  I like the little intimate things as much as the graphic stuff. 



Sybil



Earth.  Terra Firma.  Seems forever it's filled my thoughts, been my goal.  And now...I'm here.
John Crichton-Terra Firma

Offline Nette

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Re: Have you ever...
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2009, 06:34:26 AM »
So here's a question as a result of that toes-against-ankle scene:  Why do small moments like that work so well?  :mushy:  Is it because it shows intimacy in an unemphatic (not-too-graphic) manner?  Or is it just part of a 'snuggle' scene, which usually makes the women just melt?  Or what?  :ponder:  As readers, what is it about a scene like that one that makes you go all warm inside and puts a smile on your face? 

While I love your more graphic scenes...which you write so well I might add...so please don't stop   ;)   it is sometimes the more subtle moments during a couple's intimacy that shows that it isn't always about the sex (I know...strike me down for saying that   :shocked:  ) that you can get just as turned on by "toes-against-ankles" as you can from the actual act of lovemaking. We see through out the show alot of John and Aeryn moments where there is just a look or a gentle touch that shows there is a great deal of love between them without having to actually "see" them making love. If that makes sense.  I suppose woman like romance so I guess a 'snuggle scene' is part of that   :mushy:


Quote
And yes, I think I've got a barely-started story that I can post as I go along.  What I want to do is clear out at least two other projects first, and make sure I'm actually settling down to write every day so I don't post it here and then leave it sitting for months (or years :-[ ).  My first priority is to get the next two chapters of Measure of Devotion finished up and posted.  (My apologies to everyone who is waiting until that one is finished before they dive in.)  After that, I'd like to get at least one short story completed before I tackle the one I think is a good candidate to share. 

Not to put pressure on you or anything...but...I am one that is waiting before I "dive in"  But I am a patient jirl   ;D  A new short story will get me through until then   ;)

I look forward to going along for the ride as your story unfolds.


Nette