1. TheSilverBeetle
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    TheSilverBeetle Member

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    Okay, randomness question.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TheSilverBeetle, Mar 18, 2012.

    How do you guys keep things fresh? When you fit in a situation that seems random maybe just to fill up space or time do you just come up with it on the spot or do think about it and how it may lead to another even later in the novel? And also how do you come up with random situations that secondary characters or friends of the main character get into? Things that aren't as important but affect the realism of the story or just add some kind a comedic affect.
     
  2. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    It sounds like you are moving through your first draft.

    When writers are writing their first draft, they will often have "random" scenes that will only be there to develop the setting, or there for comedic effect, etc. The more you work with your novel, the less "random" scenes will be. Ideally, each scene will be incredibly important to the story, meaning they aren't random at all.

    Put simply, each scene should accomplish each of these:
    1) Furthers the overall plot
    2) Develops characters
    3) Develops settings

    But your primary goal is to finish your novel by any means necessary. This often means writing "random" scenes. After you finish it, you will have a greater understanding of what your novel is about and what scenes are important, and what are not. "Comedic Effect" and developing world "realism" should be accomplished WHILE accomplishing the three things above.
     
  3. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    It's usually when I have a problem figuring out stuff that inspiration for the side characters suddenly shows up. My distracted thoughts start wandering, and then I figure out something incidental for a character to do. Basically, I look for every part of your story that bores me, and then add something to it.
     
  4. Kaymindless
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    Kaymindless Contributing Member

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    Well, one, I don't write anything just to fill up space.

    I agree with everything funkybassmannick said. Those are the goals you want otherwise you're just going to cut it out.

    Now, I don't plan things out; I have a general idea where I want the story to go but I don't plan things out. I tend to have a brief idea of how the scene should plan out and what it is suppose to accomplish. The unfortunate thing is sometimes I realize a scene isn't working the way it's supposed to, or isn't accomplishing anything and I finish it but mark it off as practice or a character study.

    My advice, and something that may not work for you and not everyone would agree with, is write your plot out first. Get the story done, then you can go back and tie things in, work on a sub-plot that came up half way through. But, as Funky said, once it's done, you'll have a much better idea of how your novel works.
     
  5. mcpout
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    mcpout New Member

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    I would second the idea of having your plot worked out b4 hand even if it is just your main events. At least then you can look for situations that aren't just there to fill up space but act as transitions to your next scene.
    Everything has to travel to get somewhere else.
     
  6. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't write "random" scenes - every scene has a predetermined purpose. Seemingly random scenes exist but the way they're tied into the plot already exists prior to the scene being written.
     
  7. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm a complete pantser which means I don't plan at all. Personally, I don't worry about those scenes my first draft and I fill it full of fluff, drivel, sex, magic and other methods of getting from scene to scene. Then I put it aside and rewrite it from scratch. By the end of my second draft most of those things only exist if they are needed to further the story.

    Every writer approaches them differently, but you have a delete key and there is nothing you can't fix once you have the story out.
     
  8. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm seeing two questions here. I agree that you don't want random scenes that aren't in the story for a purpose. But it sounds like the other half of your question is how to make your scenes, the scenes that we all argue should have a purpose, seem fresh.

    If, let's say, your story needs a scene where the main character goes out on an errand, how do you make that errand interesting without going too far and making it freakish? Running to the grocery for milk is really obvious. Running to the grocery for Louisiana bowfish caviar may seem too self-consciously "different". Picking up a serger (a kind of sewing machine) that's had to be repaired because the character that owns it keeps sewing over pins when they're not supposed to _might_ be the right middle ground, plus it tells you something about that character. Or you might find that you have two paragraphs explaining what a serger is and why it's bad to sew over pins, that those two paragraphs sound like a home ec manual no matter what you do, and that you need to choose another errand.

    Is that the kind of thing you're asking?

    ChickenFreak
     
  9. jwatson
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    jwatson Active Member

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    It sounds like you lack sub plots. Your other characters besides your one MC should have some kind of story as well, and it should tie in with the main plot. There's not much advice one can give you. I think you need to wait for the ideas to hit you and make sure you translate them well. It's more about lack of content than an inability to come up with the randomness.
     

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