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Can you discard the plot for a better character arc?


I think I failed to communicate my intentions in the previous question.

I was always fascinated by JoJo's Bizzare Adventure, and to an extent Araki's writing style. The main power system (Stands) of JoJo is very loose and quite a few of them (Bohemian Rhapsody, Bastet, Osiris, Atum) were obviously there for the sake of a nice/interesting idea.

They were incredibly conditional powers and always changed up the rules in ways no other stand did. Atum had to be beaten in a videogame, Bohemian Rhapsody was more of a phenomena/catastrophe than an actual power, Chariot Requiem simply switched up people's bodies to make things more confusing, and it worked.

I always aimed for something similar with Anon. Anon's overpoweredness always rubs off as a (usually impossible) change in the world around the characters and how they adapt to them. I can't hope but feel that this artificial plot has the ability to serve a certain story, that is above and beyond the plot, better.

For example: If the story focused on pirates (the Sir Francis Drake types, not the other) and sea battles, Anon would show up with a 1.2 km long, 180 meters wide, unsinkable aircraft carrier with 200 UAVs ready to go. He doesn't actually kill anyone, instead, he toys with them and creates "obstacle courses" the characters have to get through or they'll die.

More precisely it's good for poetic justice and/or giving place for interesting (and usually impossible) situations for the characters that would help develop them. But the characters are still rooted in the original plot, so I can't cut that out.

How can I abandon the original plot without making the readers feel alienated?

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So it seems like you want to do something similar to Archer has had going on for the past couple of seasons.

To whit, the show is a work comedy set in a spy agency. Around season four, the writers felt they had milked the spy genre for all it's worth, and introduced season five with the cast now having to make it into the world of drug trafficking (for reasons). They then realized that what fans loved about the show wasn't the premise but the characters and their quirks and foibles and after another season returning to the spy genre, they began doing a genre shift premise for each season. Season 7 had the gang start a detective agency (and moved the New York base to L.A.) and conclude with the lead character entering a coma which allowed the writers to go all in in the genre shift all framed as the coma charater's dreams while he is struggling for conciousness. Season 8 was post-WWII era Noir detective series (also in L.A. but contrasting with the more realistic PI set up of season six) and re-imagined all the characters into archetypes in the Noir setting (the main rival was now a dirty cop, the mad scientist who had some uncomfortable Nazi lineages was set up to be an actual Nazi Mad Scientist... but the pay off to his scheme to help the Germans was probably insanely awesome). Season 8 re-imagined the gang into a pre-World War II pulp adventure set in French Polyneasia and found the gang searching for lost native treasure. Season 10 re-imagined the gang into a Space Opera setting.

Each change keeps core elements of the characters and their basic personality, but also with some elements that are clearly inspired by the lead's opinion of the character (in the real world, the rival/crooked cop is a by the books meek character compared to Archer's cowboy personality... Archer has elevated him to villainy in both seasons) while the real characters of Krieger, Pam, and Lana tend to hold similar roles to Archer (the best gal friend who busts his chops, the wacky but reliably friendly ally, and the attractive girl who hates his guts).

This works because the roles are so established, that the character interactions can easily be sussed out no matter what the setting. The cast are largely unchanged, it's the setting and the jokes that get an update.

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This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/a/48676. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.