1. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    A travelling character

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by jwatson, Jul 17, 2009.

    Something that I really found difficult when writing was and still is how to write when your character is traveling over a pretty long distance. Like, if I have my character traveling by horseback, I can only emphasize the mountains and ridge so much, if you know what I mean. Of course I can state his state of mind as well, but over all, that's maybe one paragraph and a half, and I really struggle with this because it weakens my story and even my plot as well.
    Any tips from any pros?
    Thanks : )
     
  2. lovely
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    lovely Member

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    Maybe you can include some sort of short incident that won't detract too much from the plot. Maybe if it's through the desert there could be a run-in with a bear or scorpion. If you were in the mountains maybe a bear. Maybe you could just talk about the passing of the sun and the moon, although that wouldn't take much. Perhaps frustration in the lack of changing scenery is one way to take a little space.

    If isn't much happening, though, I would really recommend just getting on with it. There is no point in dragging it out if nothing happens. You can just go over it in the one or two paragraphs it will take and keep going. If you decide you want to expand it later after the rest of the piece is finished, that is always an option. Just make sure you aren't boring readers.
     
  3. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You could sorta describe the general routine your character has fallen into. Highlight some of the ups and downs your character experienced. Maybe if you can, go into a little detail of one particular morning or day spent resting. Could be used to give your character more depth.

    But overall you could probably get away with a small part and skip most of the traveling and get to where you need to be.
     
  4. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    for example, this is the beginning of my characters LOOONG trip...what do you think?

    He had woken up in the middle of the night. Unable to go back to bed, he had paced his home for hours, his heart racing in anticipation. He had packed early, strapped on a large green bag to his back, and stood in the darkness, waiting for the first sign of sunrise.
    It would take him two hours to get to the city’s eastern gates, so he left when the first glint of light shined through the window above his door. The city was empty and quiet, and James could not help but feel at peace despite the troubles ahead and the dangers Emma and Sophia faced.
    The sun had completely risen by the time James caught site of the eastern gates. He enjoyed a short drink of water from one of his water tankards and the stable boy fetched him a white horse. James thanked him and rode towards the city’s magnificent metal gates. The guards on duty had it creak open. James turned towards the city that was once his home and looked at it, hoping it was not the last time he would set eyes on it.
    The rising sun, however, gave effect to what could have possibly been a more beautiful view of the rigid earth and its surrounding forestry, and even the smallest glint of water that was so far away. James began his journey, learning that his knew white horse was quite fast. It trotted down the wide pathway which was bordered by tall trees. He heard the distinct sound of the city gates closing but did not look back. His mind was set now, on his objective.


    Even if this is fine, I still have to deal with another day of traveling which is honestly really hard for me to do...but whatever, if you can, please let me know about the above ^ ^ thanks
     
  5. Beaumont Hardy
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    Beaumont Hardy New Member

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    I really like your traveling description so far. You may feel bored as you write it, but it's not boring to read. You have good descriptions, and the character's emotions are believable.

    I agree with lovely and unit7 that you don't need to explain every moment of the traveling. If there's nothing more to say about the trip, you could just cut to, "When he arrived at his destination..."

    But perhaps you could further the conflict in some way during the travel. Maybe the character has received a significant letter, and he only has time to read it as he's plodding along on horseback. Or maybe he wonders about some scrap of overheard conversation and suddenly realizes (after mulling it over on his long trip) how it relates to the Emma and Sophia situation. Or maybe he encounters some person or object relevant to the conflict.
     

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