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    Default When changing things at a moment's notice

    I thought this would be good to discuss:

    When Akira Toriyama was starting the Cell Saga of Dragon Ball Z, he never thought of Androids 17, 18 and 16 or even Cell himself until after Androids 20 and 19 appeared. His editors disliked 20 and 19 and asked him to replace them with "better" bad guys. As such, Toriyama had 19 killed quickly by Vegeta which led to 20 (Dr. Gero) returning to his lab to activate 17 and 18. The two cyborgs killed Gero and activated 16 before heading off to search and destroy Goku. Sadly, there's no pleasing some people and Toriyama's editors asked for 17 and 18 to be replaced. And so, Cell was created to absorb 17 and 18 and steal the show from them. Later on, Toriyama was asked to have Cell reach his Perfect Form (Kanzentai or Complete Form to be more accurate) faster since his editors thought his second form was weird-looking.

    Where am I getting at with all this? Well, with all this knowledge in mind, I'm very impressed as to how Toriyama was able to write such a neat arc with so many changes to make along the way. Rather than canning an idea and instantly replacing it with another, he wrote the story to build up to the new idea and pass them off as plot twists which worked (most of the time). The new introductions don't seem at all asspull-ish and feel as though they were coming this whole time. Unlike a lot of cases of executive meddling, these changes manage to work.

    But enough of Dragon Ball Z, let's apply this to writing in general. How would you change things when you're writing the story and you think that something different would be better than what you have now? Like a review gets you think or it dawns on you one day. Sure, with fan fiction, we can go back and correct stuff but what if you couldn't and had to change stuff up like with a published novel series (in the unlikely event, of course)? This is kinda the case with pantsers who don't exactly plan far ahead (you could call Toriyama one too).

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    Brock's Pikachu LightningTopaz's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: When changing things at a moment's notice

    Sometimes, I'll plan something in the story, start writing, and then have it dawn on me something else works better.

    So I go back, revise any parts of the old idea I want to keep, then write the new idea into my notes
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    How puzzling! Protopost's Avatar
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    Default Re: When changing things at a moment's notice

    This happens to me a lot, so far things aren't going as planned in my fic since I get new ideas to use pretty quickly. In order to accommodate the new idea I spend the next chapter doing a transition towards the new better idea which is introduced after that. It also ends up being a lot smoother if I read all my previous chapters beforehand and use it to find anything which I could possibly turn into foreshadowing and then use it when implementing the new idea, that way it comes off as if I had planned it. Thank you Bakuman for teaching me that trick X3

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    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
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    Default Re: When changing things at a moment's notice

    I experienced this repeatedly with Rival's Story. Although I had planned the whole thing from beginning to end before beginning writing, I rewrote large parts of the story shortly before they were published. In fact, the conclusive arc was rewritten two or three times from very different original intentions.

    The biggest change was probably that the character of 'The Scientist' was originally going to be a one-off but he was so popular that I made him return 3 more times after his initial appearance, including playing a part in the final arc and it worked wonderfully in the end so I am glad my reviewers gave me the idea to keep him in. Although people tend to jump to Giovanni, I usually consider him the real villain of the series. I suppose none of this will make much sense to most people as hardly any of you will remember Rival's Story though... =P

    As for writing novels etc. Well, I've worked on multiple novels (only finished one) and I have multiple times started from scratch because new ideas for plot have made the story so much more powerful. This is something I am against in series but in a work that is free standing, I think it is a very good idea.




    Also, that's really interesting about DBZ. I had no idea and I absolutely loved that entire arc, including the Androids and how it all worked out. Weird to think that 19 and 20 were meant to be the original villains... that would have been crap!

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    Default Re: When changing things at a moment's notice

    Quote Originally Posted by Gastly's Mama View Post
    Also, that's really interesting about DBZ. I had no idea and I absolutely loved that entire arc, including the Androids and how it all worked out. Weird to think that 19 and 20 were meant to be the original villains... that would have been crap!
    It's interesting to think. I'd like to say that had Toriyama not have thought of Cell, Dr. Gero would've been DBZ's answer to Dr. Willy from Megaman, using his mechanical monsters to try and defeat Goku.

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    J'ai Envie De Toi AetherX's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: When changing things at a moment's notice

    Ooh, I've definitely had to do this before. The plot of Unpredictable and its sequels used to be kind of boring and sub-par, but then I had a single idea that changed it entirely. I started out by going back and reading the fic through from the beginning, including the author's notes, all the while jotting down a list of "What the Reader Knows." I then took my idea and that list and wrote a quick summary of the new plot so I could be sure it worked. There were a couple loopholes and exceptions that I had to slip through, but I think it ended up fairly consistent. We'll see what my readers think when I drop the bomb, though.

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    Default Re: When changing things at a moment's notice

    This has happened to me recently. I had started one fic, had it all planned out until I got about four chapters in and realised that what I had so far was too bland. I wanted to change things to make it a more interesting read, but I couldn't come up with anything to achieve that. So I decided to scrap what I had and rework my original plans. I don't know if they'll be successful changes or not, but as I'm writing the first chapter again, I genuinely think my new ideas are a whole lot better.

    No matter how much I plan I know deep down that none of it is absolute. Somewhere down the line, I always end up getting new inspiration and changing things even though I want to stick to my initial plans. Hopefully with this fic I'm working on, I won't feel compelled to rewrite what I had from the beginning and will be able to transition from idea to the other without anyone noticing that something has changed.

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    Default Re: When changing things at a moment's notice

    I actually do this a lot. It just suits my personality better, I guess. If I plan ahead too much, I get bored with a story and end up abandoning it.

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    Default Re: When changing things at a moment's notice

    this usually happens before i continue writing a chapter. i think things through my story constantly and just recently i've decided to change some stuff up a bit for my story. if it was already published i'd go back and revise it and make an update saying i did.

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    Default Re: When changing things at a moment's notice

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosj2 View Post
    This happens to me a lot, so far things aren't going as planned in my fic since I get new ideas to use pretty quickly. In order to accommodate the new idea I spend the next chapter doing a transition towards the new better idea which is introduced after that. It also ends up being a lot smoother if I read all my previous chapters beforehand and use it to find anything which I could possibly turn into foreshadowing and then use it when implementing the new idea, that way it comes off as if I had planned it. Thank you Bakuman for teaching me that trick X3
    I think that's kinda like Fridge Brilliance.

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