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  1. Rumwriter
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    Rumwriter Active Member

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    How to add fun to urgency

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Rumwriter, Jun 22, 2011.

    idk if this is a character or plot question but we'll try it here.

    So, in my book a character gets captured and a lot of the focus of the story and the conflict is in rescuing him. That doesn't happen until near the end though. Meanwhile everyone is constantly going on quests looking for him (he's royalty btw) and it's a big deal.

    The problem is that I don't want every moment of my book to have my characters going "oh no! we still haven't found prince charming! what are we going to do!" I want there to still be room for people to have fun and laugh and what not, but it feels strange to me even though it is totally normal.

    I mean, I think about real life. I'm sure soldiers overseas who have very serious and important jobs where they risk there lives go home at night and laugh and drink and joke and whatever. Everyone does. But when I try to write these things all I can think is "wtf? why would they go for a walk in the park??? there friend is missing!"

    Other stories have done it well though. think about it-harry's friends are dying all around him or whatnot and he finds time to go play a broom game. hobbits go dancing and singing in bars while sauron is amassing an army. in the last airbender they go to wrestling matches and stuff when they should be defeating the fire nation.

    so why can't i get past this block in my mind that says "your characters would not be off playing a game of tiddly winks right now"
     
  2. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    Maybe the problem you're having isn't that your characters are playing tiddly winks but that there is no point in what they are doing. Typically these walks in the park push the story forward in some way - character development, a side plot, backstory, a love story or some other reason. In order for a story to be really good it needs more than the main story line. It needs other stories that you weave together.

    My least favorite scenes to read are the ones where there is no point to what is happening. I start wishing an alien would land or someone would pull out a knife.
     
  3. CottonCandi
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    CottonCandi Active Member

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    You can't get past it because you are thinking what you would do if one of your friends went missing. And if were true, then life woulod still go one and your would go off with your other friends doing things, eventhough your mind would always be on your missing friend. You might could add some interesting drama as the friend(s) go in search of the missing one. That way they are searching all the while.
     
  4. ImaginaryRobot
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    ImaginaryRobot Member

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    As Amy said every scene should have a point. Sometimes the point of a scene is to give a break. Constant tension is as wearing in a novel as in real life. Your readers will need to step back from the urgency of a quest every once in a while. It's all about pacing.

    Also in real life people don't focus on something so completely that they exclude everything else in their lives . Even in the most dire, or tragic circumstances people will do normal things. Sometimes that will trigger guilt in your characters and that can be one way (out of many) to link the scene back to your main plot.

    Try to think of what your characters' lives would be like under normal circumstances. What do they do on a daily basis, what habits and hobbies to they have, who do they hang out with. Then try to think of the main action of your plot as a wave or gravity well. It distorts your characters' lives and warps their daily routines, but those daily things are still there, just changed a little bit.
     

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