1. UrbanBanshee
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    UrbanBanshee Member

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    How to Keep it Interesting

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by UrbanBanshee, Jan 28, 2012.

    Without going to much into it, I am having a problem regarding a chunk of my plot. Basically my MC is in training to prove herself worthy to join a group/orginization. She has to got through classes, trials and the like to prove herself. The story is fantasy, and the group is all about magic. My worry is making it intertesting while she trains, I can't go the 80's montage way since it is a huge part of the story.

    Any tips, or good stories to take inspiration from would be extremly helpful.

    I'll note it isn't a school and there aren't many people currently in training. I just don't want the training to consists of lectures and to seem boring. What exactly she has to go through I'm still working on, but that is something I have to work out myself.
     
  2. MegTheLedge
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    MegTheLedge Member

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    Well. What I would personally do is have another character in training at the same time as her. Make this character highly competitive. Then, every training session would turn into more of a competition. Throughout the training, they're neck and neck, but when it comes time for them to graduate, your character finally "wins" their little war, proving she is the best.
     
  3. MegTheLedge
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    MegTheLedge Member

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    And I suppose graduate isn't the term I'm looking for, but you get the point.
     
  4. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    I agree with the above poster. Give her a rival, or have her get injured or something so she falls behind and has to race against the clock to catch up or something.
     
  5. UrbanBanshee
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    UrbanBanshee Member

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    Oh great idea. Giving her an injury caused by someone trying to trip her up would not only add tension but make her more endearing.

    Thanks for the help. :D
     
  6. Backbiter
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    Backbiter Contributing Member

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    I love both of the ideas already presented. The main idea is to give the section some sort of conflict. The idea of a rival is a great one, since there are many cases of this found throughout all types of stories. Sometimes the ultimate victory of the MC and defeat of the rival earns them the rival's friendship, while sometimes it's just a grudging respect for the MC; either way, it can make that section a bit more interesting. I like the notion of giving them an injury too, because then they have to try to continue on despite their disability, provide the MC with the problem of "overcoming them self". The end result of the MC's success can make them that much more admirable to the reader as well.
     
  7. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    In terms of keeping it interesting, keep the lectures brief and then move on to extremely dangerous practical work. Also, analyse just how important the details of the training are to your story. It could well be the montage is the best way to go. Also, bear in mind that interesting is subjective. I'm sure that there are people out there who'd love to read in depth lectures on magical theory for your world.
     
  8. UrbanBanshee
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    UrbanBanshee Member

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    I'm one of those people who can't stand it when magical theory is completely neglected in an interesting story. There are stories I wish we'd get the magical lectures, but I know it's important to have a good balance and that I'm a little outside the norm.

    Dangerous work eh, I need to ponder on how to do that. What kind of hoops I should make her jump through. Hehehe, think think think.
     
  9. IrishLantern
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    IrishLantern Member

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    I would suggest that actually depicting a character training for a large chunk of your story would be very boring to read. You said you couldn't do it in a cheesy 80's montage way, but there is a reason they were and still are used in films and tv shows, because people don't want to watch the training, they only need a brief overview.

    Think of the seven Harry Potter books. They take place over seven years of school where Harry and the others all learn magic. Yet how much time does Rowling dedicate to depicting lessons? The books are about the interactions between the characters, learning magic is simply the backdrop to it.
     
  10. UrbanBanshee
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    UrbanBanshee Member

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    It's all about how you write it though, which is why I asked for advice.

    I also know some of it is a matter of taste. For example, I can't stand sports. It bores me and I don't quite understand why people like watching people throw or kick a ball around. I don't outright think sports is boring though, it just doesn't interest me.

    So even though someone else might think that dangerous magical tasks and trials that a character has to pass to prove their worth are boring, it is what interests me and is the point of my story. I didn't feel the need to go into details in the original post, but "training" probably conjures up the wrong imagery. Will there be the occasional "lesson?" Probably, but the training isn't like telling someone to practice the piano, and then having to read about the character clunking away at each key. I'll mention that the characters already know how to use magic, so the lessons aren't "create fire" or "turn the mouse into a teacup."

    Like I said the specific tasks and trials there will be I'm still foggy on, but when I worked them in I didn't want the tension to feel like a side note. It is important to me to weave them together.
     
  11. Superevil225
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    Superevil225 Member

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    I would highly suggest you pick up the novel: Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.
    He picks out the most interesting moments of Kvothe's time in the University and allows the reader to remain very interested. It gives a nice layout to his learning, by touching of a few major experiences and moments, but overall lets time pass quickly enough so the reader isn't getting pissed off with the pace of the novel.
     

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