1. Johncrawfordz
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    Johncrawfordz Member

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    How to make a 'boring section' interesting?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Johncrawfordz, Nov 9, 2014.

    Good day / evening to all

    I have an enquiry I would like to make to ask from your experience.

    I'm in the midst of a writing a series of light novels which is generally fantasy / soft sci fi. It involves the main character whom just entered the workforce of the modern world as we know today. I'm pretty much going through his search for a job which would reach about the first 25% approximately. This will eventually lead him to another world / adventure that is very lethal.

    I believe that this job seeking process can be a bit boring since its so similar to our world after all. Second, as per my understanding that this section doesn't have such critical conflicts that would attract viewers. However I believe this section is important as it involves my character on his thoughts and thinking regarding this world where he has a choice to enter or quit. However, he would be conflicting on is roles and responsibilities to both his colleagues and family.

    Appreciate some advice about this phase / section. If you believe otherwise on the importance, I will also appreciate your comments / advice.

    Thank you

    Regards,
    John Crawfordz
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Assorted thoughts:

    - There may not be life or death conflicts in the job search, but there could be plenty of other motivations and conflicts. Does he urgently need money for something? Did he spend a fortune on his education and is he desperately dismayed that that doesn't seem to be paying off in the job market? Did he lie to his mother about having gotten a great job and does he talk to her every day, telling her fake stories about his non-job? Does he have a job delivering sandwiches that he has to keep for survival, but that is interfering with his attempts to get a job in his career?

    - That said, what does this part of your story tell us that we don't already know? If you're showing what it's like to look for a job in your fantasy world, but it's more or less like looking for a job in our world, is it possible that the section isn't needed, or at least isn't needed at as much length as you're giving it?
     
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  3. Johncrawfordz
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    Johncrawfordz Member

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    Hmm..when you put it that way. Yes, there are a few motivations which i can generally consider as tradition and society pressures. If I work on it a bit more, I'll probably have a few more.

    I suppose my goal of this section is to introduce the world and the characters relating to the main character as he is introduced to the new world (such as family members as they have some importance to the main character's decisions. Then later it moves towards the development between him and his team.

    Now my question would be, if I want to simplify it while providing reasonable character introduction & depth, what would be recommended methods?

    What I'll do perhaps in the meantime is to check on the number of scenes related to this introduction section and put it here for further discussion.

    Thank you

    Regards,
    John Crawfordz
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    As long as your POV character is somebody we can relate to, we'll be interested in what he thinks of just about anything—even things you might term 'boring.' If your character is bored, maybe let us see what he's doing inside his head to either distract or entertain himself while the boring bits are happening.

    The more important things are to him, the more they will be important to us, the readers. Resist the urge to stand back and describe everything from a neutral point of view. Dive right in there and let us know how he feels about stuff.

    We don't need to know what colour the office walls are painted unless this makes a difference to him. If the walls are pink and he hates pink because it reminds him of being stuck living in a girl's room for years when his parents couldn't afford to paint it any other colour, and it now reminds him of being poor ...that's interesting. If he just hates pink because it's a sissy girl's colour, and he thinks he's all masculine, that's less interesting. If he doesn't notice or care if the walls are pink, purple, green or polka dots, we don't need to know what colour the room is at all. Focus on what he DOES see instead.

    We don't need to hear everything that's being said at an interview, either. Only what really makes a difference to him, or what he reacts to, or has trouble with. And etc. Apply this principle to everything in the scene, and you're unlikely to go wrong. Give us a notion of what is going on, but make sure it comes to us through your character's eyes.
     
  5. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    If the normal world job hunting is going to take a significant amount of the book, you need to consider what early strands and hints you can include leading towards the more fantastic elements.
    I don't know if the other world is secret to the rest of the world or if it's discovery is hitting the news channels.
    If it's secret your character might for example attempt to research this weird company he's got an interview with later on.

    Whatever is most appropriate to make the story feel a cohesive whole rather than a random switch from job hunting to fantasy a quarter of the way in.
     
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  6. Johncrawfordz
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    Johncrawfordz Member

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    I see. I suppose I'll go through the section again with all your advice.

    I'm thinking of minimizing the unnecessary scenes and my concern now is that I'd leave empty weird spots in the plot and relationship tree.
    I guess the draft revisions will put a check on that. :)

    Thank you

    Regards,
    John Crawfordz
     

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