September 18 - Everyone ready for the Friday Highlight? It's ready for you here!

Sylvan Glade Tea Party

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  • ThePlumbobThePlumbob Posts: 4,541 Member
    edited September 14
    @_sims_Yimi

    Yeah technically there's nothing stopping you from going back and editing, but that wouldn't really be fair on people who are reading along. Plus one of the cool things about reading simlit is that you get to watch the writer evolve! :)
    _sims_Yimi wrote: »
    I do sometimes struggle with altering ideas based on how I think my audience might interpret it. It’s often concepts that I was very enthusiastic about when initially thinking of it. But if it doesn’t fit, or I think it may upset readers, then I have a tendency of either toning it down or outright removing it.
    I actually came very close to doing that with Morgana’s kid chapters. They’re one of the darkest parts of the story, and I remember being very worried about whether or not I’d overdone it. In hindsight, I’m actually glad I didn’t “kill” the idea and went with what I wanted to do instead.
    I completely get that!
    I'm glad you left it as was, it was a dark chapter, but probably one of my favourites! I think sometimes if you write the story with something in mind but then decide to soften it, you might end up "cheating" the readers - possibly not as much for this instance, because we don't really know where Morgana's journey will head, but we do know those events have made a significant impact on her.

    I totally get it though, because I considered toning down some of the character backstories for the same reason.
    Like the parts of Micah and Morgyn's backstories that we have seen. I was uhming and ahing about whether to "soften" them for ages, but decided not to, because they are too important to why they are the way they are, and if I toned them down, their actions would make the characters make less sense. Which is what I mean by "cheating" the reader.
    Like Morgyn, hm? xD But yeah, I get what you mean. Maybe it’s a bit less relevant in simlit than in an actual novel =) I came across an article about it today and was wondering what kind of thoughts you guys had about it. :mrgreen:
    I've said it before, but I do find Morgyn relatable. Shock horror :D It's not something I would be admiting to if it wasn't true :p Now please don't send your 4,862 gnomes my way instead, yeah? :D

    I think it's still relevant! But possibly harder to do because you don't have that final outcome in front of you yet. Then again, it is nice that we get a bit more freedom. It's definitely interesting to know what people might cut or change and why.

    Have you thought about releasing any of the elements you've cut that don't quite fit as standalone short stories that supplement the story but are their own thing? Like little extra bonus chapters of sorts? Because I'd totally read that! :) (Obviously I mean things that just got cut altogether, not things that have been altered. As much as AU Camelot could be interesting in its own way :D )
  • mercuryfoammercuryfoam Posts: 759 Member
    edited September 14
    I love how you guys have an endless stream of though-provoking questions. I’ve not heard of this term until you introduced it. I’ll attempt some form of an answer that hopefully makes sense.

    What do you think about this advice? (Killing your darlings. KYD)
    Generally speaking, I don't really do this. Kind of. I do try to make sure that everything I include does either move the plot, develop the characters or build on lore, though you can justify most things with one of the three, and sometimes I do fail on that front anyway - which is mostly to do with simlit being a "live" process. By which I mean, if this was a book, once I got to the end I probably would go and cut some of the bits to tidy it up a little, but since I don't fully know what the end will look like yet, that's not really possible. (I doubt the season 1 ending I have in mind will change at this point, but the way I get to it might differ slightly from what I thought at the start, for instance). ~ @ThePlumbob

    Wholeheartedly agree. I try to make sure that every obscure line in my story highlights something useful to the readers. Personally I think SimLit has more wiggle room than books because as pointed, it’s a live process with back and forth communication with readers. So getting to the end of the story may not necessarily be the main focus all the time. Injecting lighthearted fun, behind the scenes, or random lore, which may or may not add to the story (like zombie Sandy) is imo awesome moments that would’ve not existed if KYD were stubbornly practiced, which would be such a shame. :lol:

    Personally, I’m doing a tiny experimental pushback of my own in regards to KYD for S2. I’ve mentioned that I wanted to be more descriptive in my writing this time around, so I’m adding bits and pieces of info which I think are nice-to-knows and not particularly essential to the story plot or characters, or any front. I don’t see them as fillers or extra weight. But to some they’d probably see them as such. I plan for when my reading circle finally catches up to S2, I’d ask readers what they think of the changes. (Maybe they won’t detect a difference even. :sweat_smile: )

    That’s for tiny details, for whole chapters:

    Have you used the concept of “killing your darlings” in your writing before? If so, what did you remove (if you can answer that without spoilers)?

    I’ve always felt guilty about killing Kian’s entire arc. His arc wasn’t the only one that was removed. Clarissa (Athena’s childhood bully), Athena fitting into her new school, finding her social position among Kian’s friends; Athena, Kaitlyn and Maia’s adventures; the sociopolitical play between Kian + his friends amongst themselves and the wider community (hence involving Masato and Curtis); Curtis, Athena and Grim’s street arc (This part is a super darling. :cry: I really wanted to include this). And more.

    One reason to why I KYD-ed so much of the story is because I evaluated the ‘impact’ of those chapters towards the main plot. Do they add, compliment, enhance or distract? Can I achieve a similar result via a different route? And how necessary was it that these side characters get elaborated on?

    It's also partly because of my obsession with chapter numbers but lets not go there *cough*

    Though I never got round to featuring these story parts, they’re not killed in my head. The effects/results of these ‘not-shown’ chapters will shape the climate in S2 or affect certain characters directly. The only difference is that they will be perceived as new development but for me, they’re a direct consequence of a series of events in the past.
    I do leave a lot of things on the cutting room floor, although as you say most of it is because of story flow and moving the plot along. I do sometimes struggle with altering ideas based on how I think my audience might interpret it. It’s often concepts that I was very enthusiastic about when initially thinking of it. But if it doesn’t fit, or I think it may upset readers, then I have a tendency of either toning it down or outright removing it. ~_sims_Yimi

    I’m expecting to discard a lot of lore/chapters/arcs along the way in S2 too! Though there’s quite a lot that I’m adamant to include this time. One of the justifications for KYD is so the story doesn’t get convoluted and that it’s best to have one or two strong ideas than a handful of weak ones, right? I agree with it, but I’ll cross that bridge once I get to it. In the mean time, my head (since I am lousy with note taking) is swimming with so many adventures for each side character it’s mad. I might create an alternate section and call it “Extra” or something and plop all these side stories so they stop nagging at me. But for the moment, I’m feeling slightly experimental. I have somewhat of an idea to implement them all so I’ll see if it works. xD

    I think I’ve told you how I outrightly removed a sub-chapter in Ch.3 of Season 1 and have beaten myself up since. (That chapter is STILL sitting in my drafts) :bawling: So I’m not a huge proponent to killing off chapters that you feel passionate for. Me thinking of Athena, Curtis and Grim’s street adventures still gets to me. I’m glad you kept May day. It’s a cornerstone to Morgana’s character development. Dark as it was, it made me sympathise with her.Without an event as strong as May Day, I might not understand why she turned out the way she did, and may detest her character instead. (If you want that effect that’s fine too.)
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  • lone_catlone_cat Posts: 357 Member
    @mercuryfoam
    I think I’ve told you how I outrightly removed a sub-chapter in Ch.3 of Season 1 and have beaten myself up since. (That chapter is STILL sitting in my drafts) :bawling: So I’m not a huge proponent to killing off chapters that you feel passionate for. Me thinking of Athena, Curtis and Grim’s street adventures still gets to me.

    Now I'm really curious about this, and maybe you could do a bonus content section and include this chapter. Or even do a spin-off story once the main story is concluded. Totally just a suggestion and don't feel pressured to include extra stuff if you don't want. :)

    What do you think about this advice? Have you used the concept of “killing your darlings” in your writing before? If so, what did you remove (if you can answer that without spoilers)?

    I have heard about this idea before, and I agree, that it probably applies more to books. A book is already written and then edited by an outside party, and books usually have beta readers, who will read the book, and give advice to the author before the book is published. So I can see why the concept applies to authors of books, and maybe not so much to simlit.

    With that said, I do kill my darlings. I think it's easier for me to do because I already have most of my story written up in a rough draft form, so I already know the scenes in my chapters and the ending. As long as what I'm cutting doesn't completely mess up my ending, I will cut things if I think it's necessary. I'll try to make my example as non-spoilery as I can. In my current story, I had a scene that I really liked, but I took it out because it wasn't relevant to the plot anymore. In the scene, Ian gets kidnapped by a mermaid, Hailey and Barnes find him while the mermaid is putting kelp on him and flirting with him and he's all awkward about it, then Hailey and Barnes end up rescuing him. I cut it out because it wasn't going with the tone or direction my story was taking. I won't say much more about the scene other than it doesn't happen. But if you have read or read further, you will see why this scene should have been cut. At least I hope it makes sense, and I'm not just taking a machete and hacking my story to bits while wearing a creepy hockey mask. Sorry, all day I've been throwing out old pop culture references, lol. I have other scenes I've cut, but those are a little too spoilery, and they were just minor scenes that got replaced with something else. I've cut a lot and rewritten quite a bit of what I originally wrote in story 2. I didn't do that so much with my first story. There is also one character that is fairly new that I added in and that character had a whole different storyline and fate that I cut and changed. Not going to spoil who. :) The only things that are pretty set in stone are my character backstories, the crime, the villain and their motivation. And I always save what I've taken out because sometimes I can rework a scene or piece of dialogue into a future chapter or story.

    Sort of going off of this topic, I was watching something the other day that was talking about TV show writers who will cut future content from a story just because viewers predicted what would happen. I don't really agree with this. I wouldn't cut something just because one of my readers predicted a future outcome. Sometimes I think it is more satisfying for the reader to predict something and be right than to be completely blindsided all the time. And if you've already done the work of foreshadowing then it's sort of a waste of content to change what happens. But I'm a big fan of foreshadowing, and this doesn't always work in every story. I sort of went on a rant there but feel free to agree or disagree with what I said.

    @_sims_Yimi
    And I completely agree with everyone, and I'm glad you kept the May Day chapter. :) It was a very poignant chapter, and it really influences who Morgana becomes as a character.
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  • ThePlumbobThePlumbob Posts: 4,541 Member
    edited September 14
    @lone_cat
    lone_cat wrote: »
    Sort of going off of this topic, I was watching something the other day that was talking about TV show writers who will cut future content from a story just because viewers predicted what would happen. I don't really agree with this. I wouldn't cut something just because one of my readers predicted a future outcome. Sometimes I think it is more satisfying for the reader to predict something and be right than to be completely blindsided all the time. And if you've already done the work of foreshadowing then it's sort of a waste of content to change what happens. But I'm a big fan of foreshadowing, and this doesn't always work in every story. I sort of went on a rant there but feel free to agree or disagree with what I said.

    I absolutely agree with you! I don't see any good reason to do that, it would just wreck the story. What would be the point of foreshadowing and leaving hints if you were to do a U-turn? I think media these days are generally obsessed with the shock value, and place a higher importance on that than, you know, a meaningful plot and character development. But if you change things up just for the sake of changing it, you'll not end up with a cohesive story. Plus, for people like us who just write for enjoyment rather than anything else, it would mean not even writing the story you're wanting to write.

    And I definitely agree that it is often more satisfying to unravel stuff from clues rather than be shocked just for the shock-value and left scratching your head about how on earth the story got there. It's nice for the pieces of the puzzle to fit in one by one, and go "ah yeah, i can see how it fits". Don't get me wrong, I like a good twist as much as the next person, but it needs to make sense.

    (Westworld is such a good example of this. The first season was brilliant, it had twists and turns but it was all pre-planned and when you got to the end, you got an aha moment, with some satisfaction of maybe working some of it out, and some of it being a surprise. The second season was a hot mess that felt like them trying to make a caricature of their own format. And I think that was one of the shows where they made changes in S2 just because people predicted it on reddit, which is just stupid. Tangent over.)

    Also, if you write a story and none of your readers can get anything in their speculation right at all, you might want to have a think about whether you're even conveying the message :D
  • lone_catlone_cat Posts: 357 Member
    @ThePlumbob
    (Westworld is such a good example of this. The first season was brilliant, it had twists and turns but it was all pre-planned and when you got to the end, you got an aha moment, with some satisfaction of maybe working some of it out, and some of it being a surprise. The second season was a hot mess that felt like them trying to make a caricature of their own format. And I think that was one of the shows where they made changes in S2 just because people predicted it on reddit, which is just stupid. Tangent over.)

    Haha, yes you're right, that was in reference to Westworld, even though I don't know what they cut. I loved the first season too! It had some great plot twists that made sense, and I really liked all the characters. The second season was all over the place and I can't even say I remember most of it because it jumped around so much. Anyway, I'll try not to derail the discussion further. :)

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  • SnuffyBucketSnuffyBucket Posts: 209 Member
    edited September 16
    Wow, how am I so late to the party?

    What do you think about this advice? Have you used the concept of “killing your darlings” in your writing before? If so, what did you remove (if you can answer that without spoilers)?

    Never heard of it, but now I know what it is, for sure I have done this. Loads of AE has ended up the metaphorical bin as it felt superfluous. Today's chapter started with over 5000 words, as an example. I cut out some bits I really liked and it now has 1000 words, can be read in one go and is just as depressing. Job done.

    @ThePlumbob
    Also, if you write a story and none of your readers can get anything in their speculation right at all, you might want to have a think about whether you're even conveying the message
    Is this a dig at me? ;) 'Cause I reckon only about 80% of the speculation on AE is completely wrong, the other 20% is so scarily right that I had to check I hadn't accidentally posted my notes online, so the clues are there. :D
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