marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

back story steals

When stealing ideas from other stories and fililng off the serial numbers, one of the best ways is to steal something that was a part of the backdrop -- a character's back story, a minor character's comment, history.

Bringing it to the front will change it in itself.  Plus it's less developed and so has less need for serial numbers to be filed off.  And it's much easier to fit it into your own imaginings.

The downside, of course, is that you will have develop more.  A idea can be fascinating and thrilling without being in any way complete.

So I've got a story with a hero.  He's a fugitive from (in)justice.  There's a supporting cast and a love interest and villains. . . and since he was not the main character, he didn't clear his name in the story.  I go poke-poke-poke at the story and it looks interesting, but -- there's not even a hook where I could start his clearing his name and turning the tables on the villains.  (They were acquitted in the story I'm stealing it from, which has implications, and I decide the double jeopardy problem is more interesting than not.)  So pure development is needed from the very beginning.

And, on reflection, I'm not sure how he and the love interest ever met, though I've actually got a few ideas there.
Tags: backstory, fictional history, filing off serial numbers, minor characters, orchestrating characters, plotting
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