The Story Evolves
The Story Evolves
I wonder how often this happens to other writers of creative fiction…
I’ve often found that at the beginning, my mind’s eye has a clear and well-plotted narrative for a new story. But although the story may start where I intend, and characters appear as I wish, what happens next tends to be a surprise.
What I often find is that the story evolves. The dream or vision or inspiration, even the spark that ignited the whole process mutates, moulds, splits apart and reforms into something else. The more quickly I type, the more profoundly this can happen, as if my fingers smash away at the keys in a completely rebellious antithesis to my intention.
So the plan for the story becomes something else. As an example, I had intended to write a ghost story which I titled ‘The Endless Voyage’ but this quickly evolved into something unexpected – a tech-thriller where the ghosts were almost immediately pushed aside in favour of more physical explanations. I think in the case of this story it was partially explanatory; the characters and the situation demanded a solid grounding in science and so my dream was given form in too skeptical a situation for its own good.
As I wrote, the form changed. Evolution is a strange and wonderful thing.
Does this happen often, I wonder?
When I write longer fiction or novels, I don’t find this to be the case – perhaps like making a film, so much of it has to be planned and organised that there is often little room for such wild mutations of the overarching themes.
It’s not a frustrating thing. Far from it, I truly enjoy this process and love seeing what comes out – just how different the finished story is from its humble imaginings. I suppose the point is to remain true to your characters and the situation you throw them into. Without that, the story would seem fake and forced.
Understanding evolution, I wonder if I can manipulate this discovery and I wonder where I can take it in future stories…