1. Ashecroft
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    Ashecroft New Member

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    Training scenes

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ashecroft, Sep 4, 2011.

    Well, I guess I'll start this off by saying Hi, new user to the site.

    Now, back to the topic on hand.

    I recently began the third draft to the novel I've been working on for the last two years, and I have found myself stuck on a single part very early on, involving training between my lead character and his master.

    Now, at the time of his training beginning, he is 12 years old, and has managed to convince his adopted mother into talking his rather... aggressive adopted sister to train him, like she has almost all others of his kind.

    However, the main problems I find are these while trying to write the training;

    1: The relationship between the lead character and his master is meant to be one built on one person hating the other. Namely, his master hates him because of his species, and is not shy in sharing her avid racism towards him. However, training him and his kind is one of her duties, so she is forced into doing it. Whilst she does eventually overcome it because of his actions later in the story, I just can't seem to get the initial relationship to look exactly as I'd expect it to. It either looks like she befriends him far too easily, or she's just over-the-top violent with him.

    2: The training itself. In the... 30 or so times I've rewritten the training scene, I find myself disliking it simply because to me it looks flat and boring, and in many cases rushed when it doesn't need to be. Like... I can't seem to envision in my head just how training between them should look, and how to translate it into words to make it interesting enough to even have in there.

    So, I was hoping someone could possibly give advice in what I could do / try.
     
  2. Naiyn
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    Naiyn Contributing Member

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    One thing you could try is writing two drafts of the same scene-- one from each characters POV. It might give you some insight into the Master that you hadn't noticed or thought of yet.
     
  3. Ashecroft
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    Ashecroft New Member

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    Hmm... I'd always tried the scenes in either the perspective of the master, or a general overview perspective. I never realized I've never tried it from the lead character's perspective. *facepalm*

    I'll give it a try :)
     
  4. Heather
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    Heather Contributing Member

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    One thing I would suggest is to read stories where there have been training scenes, and to see how other authors have tackled this issue - it may just give you that spark of genius which makes your peice better.

    Other than that, you could decide just how important the training scenes are to you. If they aren't that relevant to the story, and you feel that you are writing them in a way which isn't adding anything to your story, then just keep them short and simple.
     
  5. BallerGamer
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    BallerGamer Active Member

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    Training scenes probably work better in film or TV shows because often they portray them in a series of montages while incorporating visual emotions into them that is accomplished with rapid succession of short scenes. Quick example, Disney's Mulan. Though it's probably entirely possible in writing format too. I just haven't read any that did what you're trying to do.
     
  6. Ashecroft
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    Ashecroft New Member

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    Reading what both Heather and Baller have said, I guess I have to agree. Training works better in a visual sense, and I'm guessing writing it wouldn't really have the same impact. I guess it may just be better to get into the important parts of the training, rather than describing it (and unintentionally slowing the pace).
     
  7. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    No ideas work better than you're own for your story.

    For the relationship part, imagine training someone or something you hate. Really hate. You don't want to be around them, you can't stand them, and there existence is best marked off as a mistake. There is no possibility or promise in this thing. You have to do this for whatever f***ing reason and it really doesn't sit well with you. Imagine yourself or your characters personality in that situation.

    If I may be a little bolder, imagine having to train a wife-beater, a child-abuser, a racist or rapist. It might inspire the same filth and hatred your characters prejudice or disposition might give her.
     
  8. Ashecroft
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    Ashecroft New Member

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    After close to 2 months, and around 30ish rewrites, I've finally managed to get past that training scene (at least to a point I'm happy with). Thanks for all the advice, really helped :)
     
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  9. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    Racism is usually subtle. Have her cringe in disgust every time he uses some part of his body that she doesn't have(like a tail, or fangs). Have her shuffle quietly to avoid him in the corridor. Have her insult him using "You stupid Zog" instead of "You stupid boy". Have her pretend to not know him at all when talking with her friends.
     

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