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Advice on Two Birds, One Stone

Hey, guys! Welcome to my blog :D

For those who don't know me, my name is Jill, and I love rare pairs, the next generation, and The 100 (where I actually ship the main pairing???).  I'm also addicted to coffee, work with kid's books for a living, and spend way too much time procrastinating and then wondering why my WIPs never get finished. 

But enough about me. Let's get onto the point of this entry.

If you've visited my author's page at all, you might be familiar with my story Two Birds, One Stone (M) which was my first attempt at a Next Gen novel(la).  I originally wrote it for a summer holiday challenge back at The Old Place, but it's since taken a life of it's own and has mostly been a really fun, light story for me to write -- which is different than the angst and tragedy I normally write.  The story, is in short, a fake dating story between James II and my OC, Hannah Thomas-Finnigan.  The two decide to date each other to get revenge on Hannah's cheating ex-boyfriend and to prove to the world/media/Hannah's best friend that James is capable of a serious relationship.  Hannah's originally less than thrilled about the idea, but eventually warms up and over the course of the story, becomes a bit more comfortable with the idea. 

It's going to be hard to talk about this without giving away the ending, but I'm going to try.  I originally wrote this (or started to write it) with the idea in mind that I was tired of fake dating turned real love, and I wanted to break away from that cliche.  The ending is, well, less than happy, but I have a sequel in mind to make things right again.  I also came up with the ending to go for shock value -- it doesn't end in the way you expect it to.

So here's my dilemma and reason for this post: I don't know if I want to keep that storyline.  I've written about 5 chapters now, and writing chapter 6, I feel like the story just kind of goes around in circles.  People reacting to James and Hannah (affectionately referred to as Jannah in the story)'s relationship, James trying to prove to Hannah that yes, this is a good idea and it benefits both of them, and Hannah getting in way over her head.  I've also struggled with the ending a lot -- I'm not sure if it really fits my characters and the story, even though they're human and everyone makes mistakes.  Also, for the life of me, why can't I just write a happy fluffy story, dammit!

I'm torn between seeing this through to the end (I have commitment problems with writing, so this is already a struggle) and taking it off the archives so that I can re-write the entire thing and making it more of a summer romance/coming of age story still with the basic premise.  My writing has also improved a lot since I first wrote it in August of last year, and I want to re-write the first few chapters to reflect that. I'm just worried that if I take it off, I'm not going to finish it -- and I love this story as a whole and the characters, so I want to write it.  I also have so many other projects going on in my brain right now, and of course, Haunting Shadows (I started writing chapter 12, I promise!), and my brain doesn't know how to multi-task well.

So I'm asking for your opinions.  Even if you've only read the story a little or haven't at all, I'm curious to what you would do in my shoes because this has been an issue for a while now.

Any and all advice would be welcome :bighug:



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I would say it's your story so tell the story that you want to tell (regardless if that's a fluffy story or not). that's important for any writer that you're true to what you wanted to do with the story (not what you feel readers may want really..) . Personally, I really enjoy the idea doing something a bit different with the ending like you said changing the trope to be your own/not so clique so I would be on board with that ending (I feel like it'll be memorable to do something like that. it'll be memorable either way as it's so well written). I think I've read maybe 3 chapters of this story at the moment so I'm not fully up to date with the story.  I think you need to think carefully about what your vision for the story is. Obviously figuring that out is the key (probably easier said than done! sorry.) 

I think that you should probably keep in on the archives like you said for motivation to finish or at least keep the story in your thoughts still. Hannah is an awesome character who needs an ending! I'm so sorry as I realise that this is really unhelpful post ha ha but good luck with finding that ending because no matter what you do with it, it's going to be wonderful as you're such a good writer and you're going to make this work. I believe in you <3 

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My advice is definitely going to echo that, but yeah, it's your story. I don't think shock value is the best thing to base it off of necessarily, but for me I think you should write your characters however your heart desires. Also I totally love characters that are best friends that you ship together but then they find happiness in themselves/someone else. I have this in my OF and I know people will ship them together (and I'm totally cool with that), but in the end I feel like I know my characters best and what would/wouldn't work for them. And HEA can get old quickly. So as a reader of your adorable story, Jannah 100% doesn't have to happen (or be permanent) for me to still love it.

You can always pen a short AU after you finish it if your readers throw a fit. xD

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I would definitely keep the story posted. I will say that while it was not the wholesale story-line for me, I have gone through something similar with Evolution that seriously delayed it - being really dissatisfied with poorer quality writing at the beginning and some mid-story chapters to the point I honestly didn't want to continue without editing. While HPFT's arrival allowed me to post the edited version here, I just noted on other site summaries that the story was undergoing revision and focused on that until I was satisfied. Even if it's largely a re-write, I think that's okay and can maybe satisfy the motivational need to keep it up and the desire to make it the story you want while providing old/current readers warning.

The story obviously should be what you want it to be though - and if you've visualized the story changing significantly and that feeling has stayed with you for some time, I think you should make the changes. If people can't respect that, it's their problem.

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Throwing in my two cents. (Knuts? :P)

I love it when people flip clichés on their heads. So your original idea sounds like fun. BUT, more important than that, you have to be excited about what you're writing, or you're never going to find the motivation to write an idea you're not attached to anymore. Sometimes your ideas of how a story will turn out end up changing as you go along and that's perfectly fine. I can't count the number of times that's happened with one of my WIPs. So if there's a different direction you want to take the story now, do it. I think the most important thing is that you like what you're writing. Whichever direction you take the story, I'm sure I will love it! (Also I 110% feel you on the 'how do I write fluff' thing because IT IS DIFFICULT. :P)

 

As for taking the story off the archive - I'd say it's perfectly fine to keep it up there and edit your currently posted chapters without removing the story, which will make it less likely that you'll ignore/never go back to it :P. You can just make a note that the chapter has been edited.

 

Hope this helps!

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You guys are the best.  I’m definitely going to take in all of this advice and maybe try to rewrite the first chapter and see where it takes me, and decide later on the ending.  You’ve all been super helpful ❤️

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