Confluence: Characters, Novels and Rivers, oh my!

Merging isn’t just for traffic.  Writers merge story ideas and characters all the time.  When one plot isn’t fully realized after furious bouts of writing, we have the tendency to throw other half-written stories into the mix to create one complete novel.

We also toss characters together in hopes that the minor roles they’ve played will morph into one robust MC.  Or, we try to marry two MC’s into a single entity.  I have mixed feelings about this practice, even though I’ve done it myself a time or two.

At times, the confluence is so obvious a reader can pick out the transition almost as easily as sightseers can see the merging of lake-cleaned rivers with silt-laden ones.  Characters can appear Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-ish, while plots can seem like rough rapids instead of a smooth river of prose.

How about you?  Have you tried merging storylines, characters or plots?  If so, what tips do you have for making a smooth transition?  What struggles did you encounter?

Curious minds want to know.

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4 responses to “Confluence: Characters, Novels and Rivers, oh my!

  1. I find this incredibly difficult to do well – so I avoid it at all costs. I can delete characters and plot lines – but trying to add them in or merge them is much, much trickier. For me anyway 🙂

  2. Intereseting post. I’ve merged divergent song lyrics, but I’ve not tried to merge stories. That could produce interesting results!

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