1. astrostu
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    astrostu Member

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    How to Write a Repeating Scene that Changes Slightly?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by astrostu, Feb 13, 2012.

    I have what I think is a neat idea (though it's been done, I know) for a vignette / short story: Character A has a recurring dream / flashbacks to some event that seems innocuous. Meets Character B who is able to trigger a slight change in the dream / flashback. Over the next several (as in more than 3) times it recurs, Character A notices it's changing, and eventually something important is revealed to Character B through the final "true/real" version of Character A's (now realized) memory.

    The issue is how to change the recurring flashback subtly and slowly without having to go through it too many times for the reader to get way bored?
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Rather vague... but there's always a slightly different way of saying the same thing. For example, "I always go to the pier." becomes "I always went to the pier." then "I rarely go to the pier." etc etc. Or "I could have gone."; "I would have gone."; "I should have gone." Anyway, something along that line. ??
     
  3. astrostu
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    astrostu Member

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    Yeah, I tried to give a vague description because I haven't really formalized the narrative I want to tell, just the idea of a recurring dream that gets adjusted to reveal something important. The thing that would be repeating would probably be on the order of 2ish paragraphs, and I want the changes to be subtle differences each time.
     
  4. MVP
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    This reminds me of that film, Groundhog Day. Maybe watching that movie would give you the clues you are seeking.
     
  5. cold grave
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    cold grave Member

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    Also a TV show called "Daybreak"?

    These mechanics can work in movies and TV because the main character is reacting differently each time. However, to only change a few details in the dreams and repeat the paragraphs is going to make your readers skip to the action.
     
  6. astrostu
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    astrostu Member

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    Thanks. As cold grave stated, I agree that this works well in TV/film. The particular thing I had thought of was an episode of Star Trek Next Gen. where they were caught in a temporal loop and they repeated things 3 or 4 times. It worked there because (a) each repeat was after a commercial break, and (b) because they could vary things like camera angle and other stuff (I remember watching the special features and the director was talking about that). But yeah, in narrative form ... not sure how to keep the interest.
     

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