I confess I totally fall back on two bits from the WITR Faq when I approach my remixes: If I had written it, I would have..., and what are and aren't essential plot points is purely subjective.
I love and fear writing remix, I can't lie. Trying to get a sense of the heart of a story, that's fun for me. Taking that essence then and twisting it around into something *I* would write - well. That's tough. This year I had some angst because the original story is so strong, so vibrant, that I found it difficult to separate myself to find my own way. I ended up spending weeks and weeks reading and rereading the original and thinking about it, but at a certain point I just had to put it aside. I couldn't see anything else.
The thing is, I don't see the remix as a gift story, entailing some obligation to maintain original story aims or elements. The creativity challenge of remix, for me, is that I can take those ideas and rethink them. (That's where the bit about subjective plot points comes in handy.) My "gift" (ha) is to write the best story I can, to realize the original author's ideas, as I see them, in my own style. And my style isn't just the idiosyncratic way I put words and scenes together, or the kind of dialogue I write. It's the whole schmear of how I write a story, from start of finish: The kind of bunnies I get, which guys live those lives, how that then can be put into words. So yeah, sometimes the original story aims and elements and ideas come out realllly different from how they went in.
But I do think an essential part of the remix challenge is to write a story that can stand on its own. Hopefully my story will suggest the original somehow, as well. If the original author is pleased, that's the gravy on the ice cream! If not... writing is a lonely business. *snif* Still, them's the breaks.
But ymmv, of course. That's the cool thing about remix, for me: It's a challenge of perception and perspective. If people see the basic concepts of the whole thing a little differently, then that's entirely in keeping, y?
So. Gotta pack, I suppose, seeing as I have like seven days. It seems I have a new job that suddenly wants the official offer to read "part time," and while we all know in hospital speak that means "Can you please work 340958 hours of overtime? Thx," the mortgage people are less than thrilled. I think it's all going to work out, but the downhill slide of it all is rather... well, exciting, actually. Hee! I have been bored, haven't I.