I wrote a story that I intended to be a one shot with three main characters, mainly to play around with a certain object within a world that suited it. When I was about where everyone was supposed to die, I realized that one of the characters had something I had a hard time writing; a personality. With a few quick adjustments and some plot changes, the three MCs escaped to a safe house. Once there I took the opportunity to look over the story a bit more. I could tell that the world wasn't going to work for the character, so I decided to do an It Was All Just A Dream. Yes I hate it too but the new world is much better for the story and not apocalyptic.

And then this is where the first chapter ends, so I have a few ways I can go with it. I can take this new character to a new story, change the name, and go from there or I can kill the other two MCs and keep going in this new world.

The main thing that I'm worried about if I kill everyone else is that the story ends, because it's first person POV not from the POV of the character I want to keep. If I move the character into a new story, I feel like something is going to get lost in the transition when I change something.

How do I keep this character while still making a good story?

  • Can you please clarify - the object, the story, the three characters and world around them - that all was in the first chapter?
    – Alexander
    Nov 24, 2020 at 19:29
  • @Alexander, yes, everything up to the IWAJAD was the first chapter. it was a long chapter. Nov 24, 2020 at 19:30
  • Ok. Are you trying to develop this chapter into a novel, or you want to wrap it as a short story and write other stories with the same character?
    – Alexander
    Nov 24, 2020 at 19:33
  • @Alexander, either one, I'm just trying not to lose the character right now. I'm hoping that if I write this character out more I'll get better with feelings and overall become a better writer. Nov 24, 2020 at 19:56
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    IMHO you can keep the character either way - the bigger question is how to keep your story (or stories) interesting and coherent. Think about what you want to develop in future.
    – Alexander
    Nov 24, 2020 at 21:27

2 Answers 2


Take the character you want to keep and rewrite to suit.

You don't even have to keep what you wrote and call it a dream unless that serves the story. Learning to throw away things that do not work out artistically and keep only the stuff that works is a vital writing skill.

(You don't actually have to throw it away. You can store an archived version.)


Throw it all away and start over with those characters in a new situation.

This time, try planning first instead of making it up as you go along. What is the premise? What is the log line? What is the blurb? What is the last scene/ending? What is the first scene/start? What are the key points in between? What is the beat sheet?

  • 1
    Not everyone writes best by planning first. Even people who like to plan don't always find it easy to answer those questions. (edited to remove reference to deleted sentence) Nov 25, 2020 at 9:36
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    @DM_with_secrets: I find it's a little column A and a little column B.
    – hszmv
    Nov 25, 2020 at 11:37

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