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FFC #90 - The Changes for Dilmir

Posted April 24th, 2022 at 06:09 PM by TGRF
TGRF's Fan Fiction Chronicles - Entry #90

Development for the final installment in the Dilmir trilogy is well underway, and I wanted to let my readers know what changes they can expect compared to the previous story.

The Curse of Feylund was I think received moderately well. The general consensus seems to be that it was a good story, but the first one was better. There are of course a variety of factors which could contribute to this, but I feel the main one is that it was built on the skeleton of the original.

The new Curse is a very different story from the old Curse (both had the same title). However, I built the new one off of the same premise of the old one, even using bits of the same development. I shouldn't have done this, because the stories were ultimately quite different. The result was I believe a character who didn't fit the story being told. Dilmir remained passive and reactionary throughout the tale, and there was I believe a general feeling of missed opportunities with characters, all because I was too tuned into the old Curse.

But what's written is written. I've analyzed the comments I got, formed my opinions on what went wrong (or right), and adjusted accordingly. I wanted to share some of those adjustments with you, both to assure you that what you disliked about The Curse won't be in the final story, and also to get you excited for it. Because I definitely am.

First and foremost, I'm not relying on the original story at all. In both stories, the threat of Aranthar is faced, but that's as far as it goes. I can already see how not relying on the old story is allowing the new one to take shape organically.

Another problem the Curse faced was that it relied on the limited worldbuilding of the first book, without really adding any of its own. The result was that the setting felt small and isolated. This is again a result of relying too heavily on the old Curse and not allowing the new one to create it's own story. This should be dealt with in the final story. I've not included vast infodumps of meaningless backdrop and setting, but I have purposefully included bits here and there to give the world more life beyond that of our heroes.

There was also speculation concerning half-elves. When creating the outline, I did include a scene specifically to show that there were indeed half-elves. However, I really didn't like the feel it gave the world or the story, and as the outline has been rewritten, the half-elves have, I fear, been dropped. There are no future plans to include them. Forgive me.

Beyond these two issues, I can't say much more without hinting at the plot. I will say that any major issues which readers noted have been taken care of. The outline is looking epic, and I'm eager to start writing.

You can expect to see the story soon, definitely sometime next month.

Until then, keep writing, keep reading, and keep commenting.

Posted in FFC
Comments 4
Total Comments 4


TheAverageFan's Avatar
Glad to hear you working on it and excited to see what will happen. Hopefully you will not run into any story-obliterating roadblocks that seem to pop up occasionally and force you to scrap the entire outline.

I am fine with no half-elves. Don't cave to reader pressure (perceived or otherwise) solely for the sake of including it. I would also be fine with no Alfimir for the same reason despite my constantly bringing him up during Curse. If it doesn't belong in the story then don't include it.

As far as Dilmir 3, if you want that juicy TAF score of 8 or higher I would recommend to really throw the story through a rigorous editing process to eliminate as much convenience, contrivance, and other such nits (knowing that one of your readers is very particular). Just to avoid "good enough" plotting that technically makes sense or gets the job done but isn't especially satisfying.

Posted April 25th, 2022 at 02:29 AM by TheAverageFan TheAverageFan is offline
TGRF's Avatar
@TheAverageFan I'm definitely eliminating convenience and contrivance as much as I can. I actually meant to ask you about this: do you have any methods you use to eliminate it? Some of the convenient plot points I come across are really hard to eliminate, and Google hasn't been much help.

As far as story goes, this is the end of the trilogy, so I'm certainly trying to wrap up every main and side character I've introduced. Everyone should be dealt with in some manner, and Alfimir is definitely there.

There shouldn't be any of those story-obliterating roadblocks either. This is why they happened, and all of those reasons only apply to a story which is not yet fully formed. The premise of Dilmir 3 is fully formed, so there shouldn't be any issues.

Posted April 25th, 2022 at 12:35 PM by TGRF TGRF is offline
TheAverageFan's Avatar
Usually whenever I knowingly employ "good enough" writing, it's because I'm rushing things out or are on a deadline (or worse yet am working through a portion of the story I'm not all that interested in, where I pause and go "how do I get X to Y? Uh, this'll happen. OK, good enough, next"). You pump out your stories super-fast so I don't know if you do anything similar for the sake of getting the fiction posted sooner. If that is the case then just stop yourself from rushing to please any perceived clamor. Then you can take your time.

One of the easiest ways to eliminate convenience is to go backwards and seed it earlier in your story. With enough setup you can turn the convenience into just a normal plot point because it'll have had enough existence and support to no longer feel convenient. (for example the climax of Curse would have felt less convenient had the hero known about it and planned around it. As is it made sense but to the hero's view at the time he just kind of winged it and it still worked out because of a factor he wasn't aware of. Similarly had you not explained that plot point at all prior to the ending it would have felt far more like a contrivance, which is worse than a convenience).

As for replacing all of it entirely, there's no quick method I know of. Typically if I can't think of a clever solution to use instead of the convenience I'll just shelve the story and ruminate on it until I can come up with something. And sometimes that can take a really long time. Because I'm not all that clever.

Also keep in mind that conveniences do happen all the time in real life, so you should feel no need to try to eliminate them all. I believe the Pixar rule is that your heroes can succeed solely because of luck once per story, but no more than that. And they can fail because of bad luck an unlimited number of times. I guess you've gotta eyeball it when it comes to which instances of convenience will be fine and which ones will make your readers complain (surprisingly no one complained about the instances of "good enough" writing in TMHW that I'm personally unsatisfied with, and let's not forget that story also ends with simple dumb luck).

Posted April 25th, 2022 at 05:27 PM by TheAverageFan TheAverageFan is offline
TGRF's Avatar
I'm fairly wary of forcing stories or going too fast (except maybe when it comes to the actual writing). I've just worked my process over and over so much through the years that it's become very streamlined. That's the only reason my stories come quickly; I certainly try not to impose any deadlines on myself.

Typically I have issues with things characters need to know or obtain. They do need to acquire these things, but doing so can often feel convenient because it's exactly what they need.

I think a large part of the convenience is when they don't have to do the legwork themselves. I'm trying to make sure they have to work to discover what they need to, but you still can't deny the fact that what they need conveniently exists.

Posted April 25th, 2022 at 07:34 PM by TGRF TGRF is offline
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