When You No Longer Like Your Plot, But Your Characters Own Your Heart

Hello my name is Michelle and I have a problem. I hate the plot of one of my WIPs, but I can’t let go

I really wish this was me, but alas

Once upon a time, when I was 13 (or 12??), I came up with the most original plot of ever, namely two teenagers DESTINED. FATED. CHOSEN.Β to prevent the devil from returning to earth and fighting demons. BASICALLY IT WAS A BUFFY THE VAMPIRE RIP OFF. Instead of Watchers and the Watchers Council it had Guardians and the Council of Guardians/Guardians Council whatever. The WatcherΒ Guardian that looked over my main two characters (who were called ‘The Chosen Ones’. So clever. So unique. Much originality) was basically a Rupert Giles rip off (to the point that I Β pictured Anthony Head as the character lmao). Oh and he was the librarian at the school (if you’re not familiar with Buffy: Giles was the librarian at the school as well lmao) for no apparent reason?? When I rewrote it he just worked at the Council, which actually made sense, but still.

It started out as a rip off.Β I’m not saying everything was exactly like Buffy, but the similarities were there, which I didn’t notice when I first wrote it because I was young and naive and unknowingly inspired by which was back then my favourite tv show of ever.

I finished the book when I was about 14 I think? Or maybe still 13? I have terrible memory

And started to work on the second one, which I never finished because at some point I decided to rewrite the first one, since I wasn’t too happy with it. In the end, I wasn’t happy with that rewrite either, and started to rethinkΒ everything. Character backgrounds, plot points, overal plot, relationships…Β Everything.

And now I look at the mess I made when I was 13 (because it wasn’t just a rip off, it was also full with plot holes and tropes I absolutely loathe now and just… ugh) and I just no longer like it.

Except. I really love the characters. I love their backgrounds, their relationships with each other, the development I was going to make them go through… I amΒ really attached.

I’m ready to let go of the plot, but not of these characters

So now what?

Because I have no clue

IΒ have thought of coming up with a new plot, and keeping these characters, but what kind of plot? Should I stick to (urban) fantasy? Or choose a different genre? And then what? Will they still be the same characters? Because a different plot (and possibly a different genre) means changes to their background stories and the development I had planned. I AM LOST.

If any of you thought this was going to be a helpful post full with tips on how to deal with this I am truly sorry. Instead this is me getting this of my chest, crying for help and hoping I’m not the only one.

Anyone been/going through this? Any advice? Or should we all start a support group together where we cry and eat ice cream? Let me know in the comments!Β 

23 thoughts on “When You No Longer Like Your Plot, But Your Characters Own Your Heart

  1. I read the title and I felt like you looked in my head and put down what you found there (are you a mind reader??) I’m currently, well kind of currently I’m not really writing much, writing a story and I love the characters to bits, I love it so much but the story is kind of lame… I think. And it’s just not the way I want it to be… But I want to finish the book so I guess I’ll edit the plot in the second draft??
    If I were you, I’d probably cry with ice cream in a corner of the room, but I’m gonna try to give some “real” advice… I think you should keep your characters, and put them in a different plot. Maybe you can remove the plot you didn’t like, and keep the “skeleton” of the story, just add in different factors and story points that you do like. You don’t have to remove the entire plot and start all over.

  2. Oooo it would be amazing if we could see snippets of the book you wrote when you were 13! I’m nosy like thatπŸ˜‚
    I wish I could help with your dilemma though – I’d have no idea what to do myself!

  3. damn quite the dilemma you have there although I myself have no idea to help because I would be a blubbering mess whilst thinking of what to do

  4. I relate to this so much. I, too, wrote a highly original and the most clever book ever (*eye roll*) when I was 15 or 16 (can’t remember either) that I loved at first but have come to hate because it’s horribly clichΓ© and it should never see the light of day. Ever. BUT I love the characters. And it’s not just that one either. I’ve got LOADS of projects I never finished (nor do I intend to) with some great characters that I miss writing about.
    So…yeah. I’ve got the same problem as you do. Do I have a solution? Nope. Not really. I’m just here to share your pain. Sorry about that.

  5. Ahaha maybeee you should have those same characters and re-write the book. Replot it. I think you should keep the genre and the main skeletal work, but change the events around a little bit??

    TBH this hasn’t happened to me yet but that’s probably because I PROCRASATINATE on writing too much. Oops.

  6. I am in a similar situation so take heart! I was a bit older only because I am a bit older than you, but yeah…my paranormal romance novel has a LOT of problems, but I love the characters. My NaNoWriMo project this year is actually another story about them, but I still love the original and have every intention of salvaging it in some way. Everything is fixable…at least in terms of stories hehe.

      • Well, what you can do is write down what parts of the plot you don’t like and try to figure out *why* you don’t like them! I know with my novel, I wrote it almost ten years ago, and I was not nearly as feminist/aware as I am right now, so there’s a LOT of problematic things in it. The main premise of it is good, but some of the execution has some major issues. Sometimes an issue looks really daunting because it’s such a huge thing, so I break it down into bits and pieces!

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