Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When ideas run amuck

I always find when I start a new story idea that the idea changes several times before I come to the one that will make up the story (which means that I'm constantly rewriting the first chapter). My new idea hasn't been any different. I wrote the first chapter, thought it was so-so, so I rewrote that... better.

Then, my mind just kept working and I've had several more ideas (lucky I haven't had time to write the chapter), but now I'm sure I've landed on the final idea that I'll be sticking with.

First idea: a girl gets accepted to a high school that is actually a reality television show.

Final idea: a girl gets into trouble with the law (actually her friend committed the crime), and she gets the ultimatum of going to juvie and having a record of the crime, or going to a behaviour management school that is actually a tv show and one of the most popular soap operas (a reality show that no one knows is actually reality... and no one knows that a bunch of delinquents are the main stars).

So, does anyone else have this problem? How many times do you rewrite the first chapter before you're happy with the direction it's going?


Stephanie McGee said...

That sounds intriguing. Good luck with it!

Stephanie Lorée said...

Happens to me all the time. It's entirely frustrating. My current WIP went through 3 different outlines before I could start, and even then, things are still evolving and chapters need fixed.

I feel your pain.

Unknown said...

Stephanie, I've changed my plot for my novel several times. I don't think it's unusual for a writer to start a story with an idea in mind and to have that idea morph several times into something different, whether the differences be subtle or major. Let the story tell itself as you write.

Kerri Cuev said...

Depends on the story for me. Usually my first chapters comes naturally. I have a problem were openings pop into my head and I have to write them down. But then it's develpoing the rest and going back and redoing the first chapter because the story takes a different path. Let's not go there about the middle.

Your final idea sounds great! Good luck with it!!! Who could resist a reality show story :)

Sarah Ahiers said...

i tend to write prologues. Then i cut them. Usually that works out well for me

Erica Mitchell said...

you could be my first chapter twin.
I've written my first chapter probably 30 times in the last year for the exact same reason you posted. My idea's just go nuts and thus the first chapter is constantly in revision. BUT I finally have the right plot this time and the first chapter just needs a tweak, that's it...not a full rewrite. FINALLY!

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