Are you going to tell us now how you changed the story after you saw episode 10? You said you had to go back and re-outline the whole thing. I am interested in knowing how it differs.
i’m sorry if someone has already asked you this but can you share with us the original plan you had for umfb before episode 10? or can you not tell us until after the companion fic?
How Episode 10 Changed Everything (and other fun stories):
So as I’ve said a couple of times before, episode 10 was an absolute game changer for Until My Feet Bleed and My Heart Aches and now that the fic is finally done I’ll try and explain how although this may get a bit long and I wont go into too much detail about Viktor for companion fic reasons.
So the main three things that episode 10 changed in the fic was Viktor’s entire character, Yuuri as an unreliable narrator and the program music.
The most significant by far was Viktor’s character. Because pre episode 10 we really still didn’t know that much about Viktor and we had no idea about the banquet. So before episode 10 I assumed that Yuuri fell in love first and Viktor came to coach Yuuri out of curiosity because he likes surprises and doing something different and eventually and unexpectedly found himself falling in love. In a draft for another fic I was tossing ideas around for it actually centred on Viktor only realising he was in love with Yuuri just before the kiss in episode 7. Viktor was always very mysterious and I’m sure people who were in the fandom pre ep10 will remember all the theories that he was just using Yuuri and all that and while I didn’t believe that, I did assume that Viktor’s character trope was the ‘workaholic slowly learns how to love by being loved’ one.
But then episode 10 comes and completely knocks that out of the water because we find that Viktor is actually this adorable sappy romantic who calls Yuuri sleeping beauty and adores him and fell in love with him when he was wasted and dancing and brought life and love back into Viktor’s world. And that completely changed Viktor in the fic because after an episode from his pov I had a much better handle on his character and realised he absolutely wouldn’t act like he had been planned to act in the fic.
In the original plan he wasn’t ever a bad person or anything but he was actually a rival for Yuuri and he didn’t fall in love until much much later. But with episode 10 we also found out that Chris and Viktor are best buddies and Viktor likes skating with Chris and can’t imagine a season without him which means that in the fic there’s no way that Viktor would feel threatened by Yuuri as a rival because in canon he’s besties with his competitor and he’s way too much of a sweetheart for that. So in the fic it changed from Viktor reciprocating the rivalry to Viktor actually enjoying the challenge and excitement it brought into his life.
As for him falling in love, in chapter 10 the singing thing was always planned but that was originally the first sign that Viktor was starting to feel affection for Yuuri and was just the very beginning of him falling in love. It chapter 10! But after ep10 I realised that Viktor ‘love at first drunken dance’ Nikiforov would definitely not be having a solid two years of a ‘relationship’ and just be starting to fall because that would be seriously ooc and we finally saw just how much he adores Yuuri through his own eyes. And so in the fic I reworked the whole thing to fit with Viktor as a character as I now understood him and that included him falling first, falling hard and falling early.
Episode 10 also showed us just how much of an unreliable narrator Yuuri is, with the banquet and also how different everything seemed from Viktor’s eyes. And so that meant that I started to play with the idea of Yuuri being a seriously unreliable narrator and trying to tell a story where his version is very different to the version the audience see, which is obvious now pretty crucial to umfb&mha.
I also went back and reworked all the program music for the fic once episode 10 came out. Before it was all important and did have significance but after I knew that Viktor was going to fall early I decided to play around with the idea of showing the audience how he was feeling through his music. So I went back and completely changed the program music to tell a proper story (funny story, originally Yuuri was going to be the one skating to Sun and Moon. And then episode 10 happened and I looked at the new outline of the fic like ‘this is such a Viktor song oh my god).
Another thing that episode 10 changed was originally Chris wasn’t involved in the fic at all until we found out about his and Viktor’s friendship and that he’s actually such a bro not just a weird guy who gropes Yuuri and comes on the ice. As well as that, in episode 10 we also found out that Yuuri was actually the unknowing playboy in the Eros story not Viktor, coming into Viktor’s life, stealing his heart and then leaving without a word, which lead me adapting the fic to umfb!Yuuri becoming a perceived playboy by others through certain things that will be explored fully in the companion fic as a reference to that. There were also some smaller changes like the inclusion of the drunken Olympics and Yuuri knowing how to pole dance as a shout out to the episode.
Episode 12 also changed a lot. One of the things was Yurio and his role in the fic and how he feels about Yuuri which will be explored more in the companion fic. Also the original end of the fic was that Yuuri was going to try and fail to do the quad flip which ruins an otherwise perfect skate and potentially loses him the gold but he was willing to sacrifice it to tell Viktor. But in episode 12 we see that Yuuri can do a quad flip with his love for Viktor as motivation so it changed to Yuuri still potentially ruining his skate because he isn’t sure if he can land the jump but doing it anyway and actually succeeding because every time he tried and failed before it was because he was doing it out of bitterness trying to beat Viktor and this time he was doing it out of love.
The fic also changed a lot over the course of writing it just because characters take on a life of their own and my first draft was very rough and done before I’d written anything so I’ll try and do a chapter by chapter run down of the big changes from the rough plan I wrote before starting the fic to the end result.
· Phichit originally wasn’t a big part of the fic but that very quickly changed because it’s Phichit and he’s so damn important to Yuuri and such an amazing character so I added him in early and made his part much bigger
· There was originally going to be a discussion between Viktor and Yuuri that went badly and they both ended up annoyed and offended which sparked Viktor’s side of the rivalry but there was no way to do that without making them both dicks and ooc and after episode 10 it changed to Viktor trying to be helpful but unreliable narrator Yuuri taking it wrong and cutting the conversation short
· Yuuri was originally going to be watching interviews and stuff of Viktor and thinking how arrogant and self-assured he was but this changed with Viktor’s character change because that’s just not him
· Viktor was going to make a comment about Yuuri’s quads but this one was actually going to be an insult and again changed when Viktor’s character changed
· The idea for the dream sequence only came later
· Pole dancing only became a thing after episode 10
· Viktor was going to only miss the GPS and come back for Worlds but lose because he wasn’t fully recovered but I decided I didn’t want the first time Yuuri won against Viktor to be so unsatisfying
· The watching Yuuri skate at the rink didn’t originally happen at this point in the fic until after I saw ep 10
· Yuuri never lost motivation originally but I decided at that point it was important in his character to almost give up but then come back with a vengeance
· The drunken Olympics never originally happened
· They were both originally going to be drunk when they first slept together but that got thrown out almost immediately because consent is very important and there was no way I was going to write a scene where both of them were drunk and therefore couldn’t give proper consent. Also it was important it wasn’t a drunken mistake but a deliberate choice.
· Viktor getting drinks never happened, instead he was going to be treating Yuuri in a similar way to how Yuuri was treating him
· Yuuri was originally still going to be very hostile before I realised it was ooc and a dick move after Viktor was being nice to him so it changed to him congratulating Viktor after Viktor won. That then changed the sex scene from the mutual hatefuck it was going to be pre ep10 to Yuuri and the comments thing that sent him spiralling. The not-talking thing was also added as a plot device because Viktor as he became acted very differently to him as he was originally planned to be and it would have been too easy if he had been allowed to talk.
· Viktor was originally going to take Yuuri out to dinner at the WC purely out of guilt
· There was originally going to be another sex scene after the WC and dinner where Yuuri was angry at Viktor for ruining his skate but it would be ooc for both of them and got changed early on
· Number swap was supposed to be just for hooking up but changed after ep10
· Yuuri’s theme was originally going to be something related to hatred but it changed as his character developed and I realised how he was being affected by the events of the fic was different to the plan and that would be doing him a disservice as a character
· Viktor was still kind of being a bit of a dick and making snide comments during sex when Yuuri won which was changed when I rewrote Viktor as a character after ep10
· Conversation with Phichit was very short and didn’t involve a lot of the stuff it did in the final chapter
· Viktor was again going to be acting very different in the second sex scene with none of the need or desperation that happened which all came about during his character change
· Conversation with Chris never happened until the third of four re-writes of ep10 when I realised Viktor’s actions needed some more context for people who were ignoring the music
· Lots of sex was supposed to happen in this chapter before I changed it for plot reasons and also companion fic reasons
· Sex scene was supposed to be all about Yuuri acting like Eros Yuuri but those two idiots in love were very sappy and sentimental instead and it became a crucial relationship shift point instead
· All domesticness from that chapter was planned out later in the fic as the fic was being written not in the first plan, including the borscht scene
· Meal with the other skaters never happened
· The revel about Yuuri’s virginity never happened in the first plan. Then in the rough draft of the chapter it happened at the same time as the second reveal but I split them because it worked better that way
· This was when Viktor was supposed to secretly watch Yuuri skating his routine
· Yurio wasn’t originally involved at all and Yuuri left after getting jealous. The love revelation never happened
· Yurio appeared in this chapter instead although the conversation was very different in the rough plan because everything he talks about in the final version came about after episode 10 changed everything
· Yuuri was originally going to be much more angry at the scandal and used his anger to win while Viktor still fucked up his skate but this changed early when I realised it was ooc and Yuuri would actually react very differently and that emotional devastation and heartbreak would ruin his skate instead
· None of the conversations with Yuuri’s family were planned in detail in the first rough plan, I just knew he needed to go back to Hasetsu and have some revelations
· Yuuri was supposed to convince himself that Viktor never loved him and never could and only realised Viktor’s feelings after seeing stammi vicino. This changed because it was very important for Yuuri to go and get some distance and time and then decided to come back and decided to try again with Viktor before he saw stammi vicino. It also changed because with Viktor as he became after ep10 and how he reacted there was no way that Yuuri would convince himself that Viktor never cared for him. He’s a bit emotionally dense sometimes but not an idiot
· Yuuri was going to fall on the quad flip
So yeah, all this is from the very rough draft before I wrote any of it and the story adapted and changed along the way as I got more into the characters and got a better handle on how they would act until it became what you see today. It definitely became a much better story and I’m very happy with all the changes that I made! Having a plan is great for a framework but letting the characters grow and change naturally during the writing process is much more fun and I think makes for a better story