#96: Ground Rules for Writing Adaptations

This question came from the priority request queue for my Patreon patrons. Thanks for your support, letter writer!

Dear Story Nurse,

When doing a rewrite, adaptation, or fix fic, what are some things to keep in mind when deciding what to keep, what to change, and what to leave out?

I just started a fix fic project—I’m taking a story that’s fine in concept but weak in execution and treating it as a first draft that needs to be rewritten pretty substantially, but the characters and plot should stay more or less the same.

I’ve already planned a few changes:

  • Introducing a supporting character before she becomes immediately relevant to the plot rather than having her show up out of nowhere to drive the action; giving her more development outside her relationship with the leads
  • Taking a background character who piqued my interest but didn’t get much attention in the original and upgrading her to be a supporting character with her own story arc
  • Eliminating a character whose only purpose is providing exposition

I think I’m on the right track with specifics for this project, but what are some things to keep in mind when approaching this kind of writing as a whole?

—Mr. Fixit (he/him)

Today is the fifth Tuesday of the month, which means that my answer to this heartfelt letter is available exclusively to my Patreon patrons. If you’d like to see today’s post—and future fifth Tuesday posts—become a Story Hospital Patreon patron at any level, even just $1/month. If that’s not an option for you, enjoy reading through the archives and salivating with anticipation for next Tuesday’s column. I’ll be back before you know it.

Cheers,

Story Nurse

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