For me, the strangest part about starting a new project is knowing it will end up looking completely different from what you intended. It happens with everything I do. Some characters get promoted, others get lost in the noise, genders flip, meanings too…perhaps this just speaks for the imprecision of my writing, but there are plenty of famous stories about it happening to Real People TM. Check out what Annie Hall was originally meant to be.
It happens in non-fiction just as easily.
One of my favourite movies of the last few years is a documentary called Circo. It tells the story of a Mexican family, who just happen to run a travelling circus, and how they deal with the pressures of modernity whilst honouring a dying art form. I went to a Q+A with the director, and you know how Circo came about? Because the director was doing a documentary about wheat fields. Wheat fields. One day, the circus truck of the family in Circo drove by. Stood there with the camera, the director realised that’d be much better.
Can’t tell if the moral of the story is “take your chances” or “learn to recognise when you’re making shit.”