View Full Version : Combining Stories
May 2nd, 2005, 04:14 PM
It's been a while since i've posted on the site, I found myself needing a huge break with 'personal issues' that were going on. But, I'm back and I've got ideas swirling.
Here's my question, has anyone ever been to that point where it seems the only way to make two stories go somewhere is to somehow combine them as one? Maybe just the ideas or maybe the characters and ideas, maybe just taking the whole story and pasting it in the other story to blend them together?
So to whoever that has done this before or ever been in a situation where two stories sound better as one, let me in on your secrets. How'd you come across the decision or how did you finally pull off the mix? Any advice would help me defuse my situation as simple as possible. :D
May 2nd, 2005, 09:20 PM
Every character in your story has a story, not just the main character. Sometimes by bringing two stories together, you create a rich multidimensional story that doesn't just hang on the actions of one character. It gains more depth, becomes richer.
May 2nd, 2005, 11:02 PM
I usually run into the opposite problem. Separate stories, I continually try to mash together, before realizing that they really need to stay separate.
May 2nd, 2005, 11:37 PM
So to whoever that has done this before or ever been in a situation where two stories sound better as one, let me in on your secrets. How'd you come across the decision or how did you finally pull off the mix? Any advice would help me defuse my situation as simple as possible.
I've done it, but I don't know if there's any secret to it. I would suggest the usual things, establish your beginning, middle and end, and edit until they all fit. Then get someone else to look at it to see what you missed.
If you have both in your word processor have both pages open and cut and paste one into the other at the 'right' places until you have them together, leave spaces between the insertions, then edit and add and rewrite until they fit together. In some cases you may have to just write it from scratch.
More than once I've written a story, get to the end and just know it's not enough. There has to be more, or there has to be more to it. Adding a character is a good way to aviod certain problems, adding depth to the situation at hand can make it so much better, adding another storyline can be complicated...
But I happen to like complicated.
Does any of this desultory rambling help?
May 3rd, 2005, 01:04 PM
I would see how it's completely complicated, but like you I happen to like complication. Which would explain why I would want to merge two stories together.
I've done it before, I actually merged three different stories together, but most of it was simple because I basically just edited or rewrote the outside stories as if I were writing scenes to my story. Somehow when I edited them into the main story they fit the way I was hoping they would.
But in this case it seems a little more complicated since I haven't even established my main story.
Thanks for the advice Ex. and thanks for the rambling MrB.
May 3rd, 2005, 07:44 PM
I'm going through the same thing as you, Jay. But tell me, do you combine characters, too?
May 3rd, 2005, 08:28 PM
Remember when the math teacher was talking about sets? She'd draw a circle and say this was set A and then she draw a second circle and say this was set b, and then where the circles intersect these were the items shared by both sets?
Set A is all the characters in your first character's story.
Set B is all the characters in your second character's story.
Where these two sets meet are the characters that are shared between the two stories.
May 3rd, 2005, 08:44 PM
Hmm, interesting Ex. To answer your question evil, the first time I had done this, as I spoke about earlier, I didn't combine the characters, instead I removed two and added many that were not involved in any of the stories. I just simply stuck to the first two characters that I began with in my main story, the one that I kept. It was hard changing some of the characteristics with the other characters in the two stories, but I managed somehow.
With my situation now, it is just an idea that I haven't put characters to yet. I've written the outline, but I want to take that outline and force it to a story that I have started and gotten lost on. I hope I helped.
Thanks for the responses, I welcome more ;)
May 3rd, 2005, 09:25 PM
On the novel project that I set aside because it wasn't working, I came up with it being the first in a trilogy by combining it with two entirely separate book ideas, deciding to put them all in the same setting and with shared characters. One day I'll get it to work (the problem wasn't the combining.) A lot of writers regularly cannibalize works that are incomplete or weren't gelling to use with other material. Sometimes you realize you're writing about the same thing in two stories or that a couple of characters would make really good sidekicks in another story.
Here's one trick that an author had that I read about, particularly helpful if you're the sort of writer whose characters regularly "talk" to you. Imagine your disparate characters sitting down together at a large round table at an inn or space bar or whatever. What would they say to each other? What stories would they tell? How would they react to each other? If you can imagine that interaction, it might help in figuring out how to mush the stories together.
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