Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
I'm not sure I agree. My example is Yours Truly - I carried that story around in my head from the early days of the pony community. Thought it through, imagined the shape and feel of it, kept pushing it back because I wasn't good enough to do it justice. When I was planning it I was convinced that it was a Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy story 100%; I visualized the shape of the letters, how the looked and felt, where tears had smudged the ink... it was years before I sat down and wrote it.

And the second I started writing it the story told me to go f*ck myself because it was really a Twilight/Applejack story and everything else was a sideshow.

And I think that's just how it is. Manifesting an idea changes it. And sometimes - often! - the physical laws of shape and gravity make perfect ideas collapse under their own weight. But in the wreckage invariably you find the shapes of ideas that do work.

As an interesting sideline, this has never happened to me in a PBP. I've had brilliant ideas planned for years, run a PBP of them and had them be just as brilliant as I imagined them. And I don't think anything's different except the built in acceptance that the story isn't entirely yours.
I don't mean the story doesn't change or reveal something new. I learn something new about this story and its characters all the time as I write it, and that's great. If I didn't, I probably wouldn't be compelled to keep going. But there's like a core that never changes, or only puts on a bit of makeup and clothes to look different, but underneath it's still the same story. Yours Truly went from Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy to Twilight and AJ, but it was still the same story, right? It wasn't that you suddenly realized you wanted to write a different story entirely, you just wanted to dress it up different.

And maybe it depends on the story, I dunno, but I think letting them linger can be a trap. Not that they become impossible, I still feel confident that I'll finally pull off this story the way I want it (with enough work), and I'm still enthusiastic about it, but compared to much of the stuff I used to write, it feels less spontaneous somehow. More like I'm trying to aim for a vision than just writing a story.