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FFC #97 - October Update

Posted October 22nd, 2022 at 08:24 PM by TGRF
TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles - Entry #97

It's been a bit since my last FFC update. Since then, I've posted Dilmir 3, received input on it, and begun work on the final installment in Dilmir's story, Archmage of Feylund.

So far, the development has progressed quickly, with very few issues. The main development is done, and the core pieces of what needs to happen are in the outline. But predictably, because anything worth reading is going to have problems in the development phase, and because I've set myself up for this without even knowing it, I have now run into DIFFICULTIES.

Not the kind of soul-crushing hope-extinguishing difficulties I normally have when it comes to development, granted, but still difficulties nonetheless. This is because, despite my earlier confidence when posting Dilmir 3 that I could easily handle every character I had created, and weave all of their plots together into a cohesive whole, achieving such a feat is proving rather more difficult than I had anticipated.

This isn't because it's hard to come up with arcs for all the characters, and things for them to do. That's the easy part. The hard part is switching between them in a logical and consistent fashion, and timing them all perfectly so that they don't get in the way of other plots happening at the same time.

For example, character A might fall into a coma. But he needs to impart sage wisdom to character B. This needs to happen before the coma therefore. But the imparting of said sage wisdom causes character B to form a risky plan. The risky plan is what I was using to put character A into a coma.

It's conundrums like this which, now that I have an overly bloated cast of characters, are cropping up everywhere. Additionally, the scale of the subplots is disturbingly out of proportion. Some side characters have virtually as much screen-time as the main character. Others, despite my best efforts, have next to none. For some characters, the entirety of their subplot happens in the first half of the story, leaving the second half feeling sparse and weak.

This is of course yet more evidence for why an author should thoroughly plan out all character arcs of a series before writing the first book. If you leave future books in the unformed halls of imagination, things will invariably not add up. So far, I've been able to work around these problems, but it's certainly no way to craft a series.

So what does all this mean for Dilmir? I've taken a week and set Dilmir aside, and now I think I'm ready to come back to it with a fresh perspective. The basic idea of what happens in the main plot is there, and it works. Some subplots need to be hacked down to a more manageable size. Others need to be expanded. Some should be removed entirely. A few plot points - especially in the second half, where things get a little... strange - need to be reworked, perhaps from the ground up.

How long this will take, I can't say. Neither can I say how long the story will be when it's finally written. It could be as long as Dilmir 3 (which I would prefer), or it could be a quick 50 pages. Right now I would say you can expect to see Dilmir's story finished before the end of the year. Whether that's a month before or mere days before though, only time will tell.

Until then, keep reading, keep writing, and keep 'Scaping.

Posted in FFC
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TheAverageFan's Avatar
Too many subplots is definitely a problem I am familiar with. It's not inherently bad but it does take a lot of time to completely sort through and align them all into a cohesive narrative. Successfully intertwining them makes it all a lot more manageable and narratively impressive, as well as irons out problems with disproportionately sized subplots for the characters who either have too much or too little screen time.

Of course, you wouldn't have a bloated cast of characters had you killed more of them last time

Posted October 25th, 2022 at 05:02 PM by TheAverageFan TheAverageFan is offline
TGRF's Avatar

True, true, although the lack of deaths wasn't for lack of trying. I just couldn't find a serviceable way to get rid of people and make it feel meaningful to the plot.

I've gotten a handle on the subplots now though, and am re-organizing them back into the outline. Just a few left and I'll be ready to polish things up and start writing.

Posted October 26th, 2022 at 01:22 PM by TGRF TGRF is offline
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