1. Tom Fletch
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    Tom Fletch Member

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    Advancing charactes during long periods of travel

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Tom Fletch, Aug 20, 2012.

    Hi all,
    My characters are traveling via airship from point A to point B, but i want to show time has passed so instead of just being like

    "they arrived." i want to flesh it out with words so people take longer to read it and they feel it took them longer in the airship.

    I can't advance the plot because they are traveling to advance the plot already so I was going to advance the characters, because nothing worse than half a chapter of mindless talking for no point of it.

    I need more general ideas than anything, but if you want to know the characters:

    One is a mage and flying the airship, he's quite stubborn and curious, he's only going because he is being paid for it, although deep down inside he would like to see the new world, but he doesn't show it often.

    One is an explorer, he's going half because he is being paid, half because its the promise of a new land. He's quite cautious though, and likes to take things slowly.

    One is an immortal mage. He's gone because he is friends with the first mage, and he is bored of where he was before they picked him up. He is confident and cocky (a side effect of being immortal), but they just met Death, who doesn't care that he's immortal but its bothered him that he *could* die if Death really wanted him to.

    I can't work out where to advance the characters to.
    It feels that i should address the whole Death/Immortal thing, but i can't work out how
     
  2. ArtWander
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    ArtWander Contributing Member

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    If the traveling doesn't have anything happen worth noting, I just find it best to just advance it through.
    That being said, a lot of interesting things could happen while traveling takes place :). It's up to you to decided what that is.
     
  3. Tom Fletch
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    Tom Fletch Member

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    I've decided to explore the whole immortal/death thing, because of this line:

    “Does this mean I’m going to finally die?” Felix asked,
    “What? No. Well, if you want to.” Death said

    And to me, the character seams to be hit by that more than he should have. If you were immortal and you were offered death, i think it'd mess with your mind a little bit.
    But i can't for the life of me work out how to write it.

    Having one of those blank days where el diablo blanko takes hold
     
  4. BBBurke
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    BBBurke Member

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    If you want to include any scene in any book, there has to be a purpose to it. You recognize that by saying that you can't advance the plot but you can advance the character. I would recommend you think about what your overall character arcs are - where do they start and where do they end up. Then think if the time on the airship can be used to help move that along. Don't just have the characters talk or think for the sake of filling up words on a page. You could use the time to reveal more about their pasts, or to set up how they think about something now that will change later on. It has to fit into the big picture. Sometimes large chunks of time pass that don't really matter. Just let them pass.
     
  5. Mikewritesfic
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    Mikewritesfic Senior Member

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    You can try to use the empty travel space in your work to provide some background information and some little nuggets that will help the plot move forward. Especially if it's a long trip. Set it up so your character sits back to relax and winds up reflecting a bit. Good Luck!
     
  6. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I use my empty space to allow for character development. The first break, my two MC's share a bottle together and brainstorming about how certain events, which have already happened, occurred. The second travel time, I establish how dangerous Kate is by exhibiting her skills with a sword, and then allowing the two MC's to bond. So they're things you can write, which move the story forwards and still take advantage of the down time.

    If you're writing a thriller or a book that moves at a break neck pace, such as mine, then that time is a place where you can let off the gas, allow the reader to catch their breath, and prepare for the next sprint. It works similar to interval training for sprinters.
     

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