1. Samuel Lighton
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    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    Key moments and getting to them.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Samuel Lighton, Apr 22, 2016.

    I'm writing a story, and I've got all of those awesome, monumental and absolutely fascinating to write moments stored up in my head as to what's going to happen, but getting to those points feels like such a drag. How do you overcome to the fluff (not really fluff, just not your key moments) parts of your writing? I can sprinkle hints and clues and meaningful stuff in there, but it still feels boring against the anticipation of the fun bits.
     
  2. Feo Takahari
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    Feo Takahari Active Member

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    Before you get to the key moments, you set up what you're going to do, creating anticipation as the oncoming confrontation becomes harder to avoid. Playwrights call it rising action, but I think of it like a landslide, watching as the pebbles rolling past you get bigger and bigger and realizing it's too late to run.
     
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  3. Samuel Lighton
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    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    It is like that, but it's like a long game version. Right now I'm setting up a lovable character, one that's weak because of their size, but strong because of their spirit - and only because they're going to get killed later. I know I have to make them loved by the characters and the readers both, but the amount of effort and time I need to put into doing that sometimes makes me weary of it. I know the emotional pay-off will be monumental and worth it, but it just seems like hard work getting there. It requires moments of care, which is somewhat difficult to put into bitesize chunks for me - but I also can't write large amounts about because it devolves into boring sympathy. This is mainly because she's existing for nearly an entire book before she bites it, but she doesn't do anything interesting. She's an anchor for someone else's humanity who severely lacked it in the first place, so she's not inherently an interesting person to write about, but the other guy is. And how he flips out when she's gone is what I'm working towards, that's the big moment. It just feels like a long road to a big bang, which is what I want, but the long road is a bitch to pave.
     
  4. Malisky
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    Malisky Fuzz Overdriver Contributor

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    Why make her boring? Boring parts for the writer mean also boring parts for the reader. Even puny mortals can be interesting you know. :p It doesn't matter how "normal" her characteristics are in the story. What matters is how you will weave them throughout the story. On the other hand, if she is deemed to be non of the essence in the overall story, then maybe keep her in the back stage. You say that she is an anchor for another character. Then don't over analyze her in the story if she's not worth it. Just mention the brief moments where she interacts with the MC and how she affects him. What I'm saying is a long shot though because I have no idea what's in your head or what your story is about. I only know that I had been in such a situation before and I learned that it's better to avoid writing boring parts. There's no escape... they show. Your efforts and time will go in vain. So, I think that it would be better to find another way around it than go straight through with it when your motivation is already lacking. Take some time, wax on, wax off and make up something that resonates with you better.
     
  5. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    It shouldn't take that long. I read somewhere that some writer has his mc do something kind and selfless right off the bat in order to get the reader's approval. The key is to have the act be acknowledged by someone - another character for it to work. The writer said it could be something as simple as holding the door for someone or giving a tired waitress a big tip but it puts the reader in favor of them before a lot of the action even starts. Maybe look over your opening scene and see if you can slip something in. I'm thinking of adding something into my novella to offset my mc from looking too much like a brat.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why can't she be made interesting, and why can't she do something interesting? Just because she exists primarily to die, doesn't have to mean that dying has to be all she does.

    Edited to add: For example, Kaylee in Firefly is partly there to add an aspect of humanity--she's vulnerable, and adorable, and non-cynical, and all that stuff. But she also keeps the ship running.
     
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  7. IHaveNoName
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    IHaveNoName Active Member

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    Exactly. If she's not interesting, it won't have as much impact when she dies. I assume we're supposed to sympathize with the other MC when she dies and he goes crazy, so let us like her too. Give her a personality, make her useful, make her interesting. I think part of the reason it's so hard to write about her is because she's so boring and you're just trying to get the part where you can be rid of her.
     
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  8. Feo Takahari
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    Feo Takahari Active Member

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    Is your refrigerator running? Because there might be a woman in it.

    Seriously, there are three dimensions here: why the MC loves the support, why the support loves the MC, and why the reader loves the support. That last will determine reader reaction to their death, above and beyond any feelings the reader has towards the MC. If you've already made the reader love the MC, you just need to find a way to make lightning strike twice.

    My approach would be to give the support her own arc, with her death (or other removal from the MC's life) as the result of the person she is and the choices she's made. There are other ways to approach it, but you should be fine as long as you avoid making her a teddy bear.
     
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  9. Samuel Lighton
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    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    She's designed to be the opposite of everything else going on. Everything else is turmoil and chaos, and she's supposed to be the quiet moments of reflection for the MC, they do plain things together but it's difficult to find out where I should stop or keep going on, or even when the scenes get too corny. Sometimes it feels like it's too long or too short, but in either instance I still itch for the 'better' scenes. That eagerness to move on to the future parts distracts me from what I'm writing for that moment.
     
  10. Samuel Lighton
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    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    Mmm, I know, but it's still difficult. I love the MC for their actions, but it's harder for her because I don't want her becoming this 'Mother Teresa' figure, because she quite simply is not that kind of person. Building the contrast is the idea but also, the flow between the scenes is hard too. It's mostly just me being amped up from what I've just written, being excited about it, then trying to come down to write something, uh, plainer? I guess.
     
  11. Samuel Lighton
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    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    I am looking forward to that bombshell later on, I can't lie about that. It's not that she's not interesting in terms of her characteristics and what she says, it's just that the whole thing isn't what I want to write, which is primarily heavy action scenes. I know it has to be there for the rest to work, it's just a hump I have to get over, just it's a pain sometimes as I drift off and imagine what happens later instead. I can't seem to focus on just that one scene.
     
  12. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't really feel that this responds to my question. Why are other scenes "better"? Why do you assume that these scenes need to be boring?

    Again, just because they're not action scenes, that doesn't mean that they have to be boring. What are they actually doing during these scenes?
     
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  13. Samuel Lighton
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    Samuel Lighton Contributing Member

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    Other scenes are better by personal preference, I enjoy writing action. I don't feel they need to be boring but they are comparatively boring to what I enjoy writing. I.e. They aren't boring in content, just boring to write for me.

    That's what the issue is, that I don't enjoy writing those scenes. I know they're good in content, it just feels different to my mind when I'm in the moment and writing them. It feels slow and laborious, not fast and flowing like other scenes.
     

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