Re: Need help on AYKB.

#1
So, currently, I discontinued my story and decided to rewrite it as a whole (I've spotted a lot, like a lot of mistakes... I'm embarrassed to even go through them.) Currently, I am rewriting the entirety of Chapter 2. In the old version of my Chapter 2, I threw in a HUGEEEEEE info dump that was told, not shown. In my current manuscript, I've avoided the old beginning scene which told about what the cast had done. I scrapped that part and instead replaced it with a scene wherein the cast was in the room and haven't met each other in a long while.

Now, here's where the problem comes in. Right after that was supposed to be a scene where the cast introduces themselves one-by-one due to a written rule stating that they should do so for future reference for the future generations of the group they are in. It was then I realized that this was going to become an AYKB (As You Know, Bob) segment if I had followed through with this plan. Now, I'm lost on what to do.

Should I go through with the plan or should I not? I'd appreciate the help.

Re: Need help on AYKB.

#2
First, I think its great that you decided to use your current story as a template and upgrade it to the new level of craft you have achieved, instead of just starting a new effort and deploying those learned skills on a fresh project. I don't assume everyone appreciates just how much harder that is to do.  Also, stories are like tapestries, in that as you rework one part, usually it affects later parts exponentially.  The work to maintain the overall flow of a work becomes ... challenging.

All I can say, having done this myself, is that occasionally you may need to re-envision how some section's ends are achieved.  For instance in one case, I had to replace (scrap) a single character introduction sequence (chapter) that originally was much as you describe, though for different reasons, with a series of three chapters that kept story continuity and direction, kept interest, and spread the introductions out so they could be more easily absorbed, without expecting the readers to have to keep notes.  Dan Brown sometimes does this in a series of  flashbulb introductions, then brings the characters, and their situations (info) together into a merged storyline. -But every story is different, and will require its own solution.

AYKB is over criticized and has a meaningful purpose in replacing a ungraceful dump by narrator concordance. There is, after all, a difference between rough and awful. If done with skill, most find it passable, save for a few dilettantes.
 
You can reduce the load through perspicacious use of flashbacks, and by really assessing if the whole load is really needed to understand the actual story as told. Even if so, how long you can stretch apart the need to divulge different parts of it, might be considered.  More than one well published author routinely discards the first chapter of their books, finding that all that background info actually meant darn little to the story's enjoyment or journey, or conclusion. Kind of like, well, world war two was important, but not to the story about Bob and Sheila and what they do during the novel. Sort of like, yes there is a history, but that is another story. For now, lets tell this one.

There is also threading two stories together so by the end, both converge to complete the denounment. This can, when done right,  add an aha, now I see, to it, a sort of reader's bonus.

Re: Need help on AYKB.

#3

FAHyatt Wrote: All I can say, having done this myself, is that occasionally you may need to re-envision how some section's ends are achieved.
Yeah, so far, in the entirety of me writing down the plots of each part I have planned, I have made over 30+ revisions. As of the time being, I have done major revisions both to the ending and the plot of Part 1 of my story. 
FAHyatt Wrote: with a series of three chapters that kept story continuity and direction, kept interest, and spread the introductions out so they could be more easily absorbed, without expecting the readers to have to keep notes.

On my current plot, I have planned out four chapters specifically once for each cast all the while still focusing on the arc those chapters are in. It will mostly focus on their personality though. I think I'm basically heading off to the same router you have taken.

Thank you very much for your insights!  peolove

Re: Need help on AYKB.

#4
Writers tend to overestimate how much info the reader needs to understand and enjoy a story. In my favorite Shakespeare play, The Tempest, the first act is at the very end of the story. We're given just enough information to understand who people are and why things are happening, but we're not given a lengthy introduction and back-story of every character.

I would definitely avoid any segments where you have characters who already know each other introducing themselves. It just creates very clunky writing, most of the time. Having a chapter for each character can be fine, but it really depends on execution. You definitely want them to advance the plot and feel natural

Re: Need help on AYKB.

#6

Senator Wrote: I would definitely avoid any segments where you have characters who already know each other introducing themselves.
that was the original plan hehe


Senator Wrote: Having a chapter for each character can be fine, but it really depends on execution. You definitely want them to advance the plot and feel natural
Yeah, the plan is for their personality to be shown via the actions they do to finish the task at hand.


FAHyatt Wrote: Welcome to a higher hurdle. The exercise will be worth your trouble, in the end.
Let's see how many hurdles I can jump over :)

peoapproval Thank you to both of you!

Re: Need help on AYKB.

#8

ShellBlu Wrote: Good luck to you. Re-writing a story from scratch is always a pain, especially if it has been a long while since you've touched it.
It is. Since I'm currently dealing with my school as well, it is quite a pain. I'm happy to say that it's been going well though. I have a OneNote folder for every detail in my story, so I always remember stuff.