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  1. _WriterNerd_

    _WriterNerd_ New Member

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    Boring Scenes?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by _WriterNerd_, Dec 31, 2017.

    I'm writing this book where my MC is being trained. A lot. I feel like it may get boring, so how do I spice it up? I have some ideas, but i don't know if it would be enough. For example, one character is funny and witty, so he could make some funny jokes. He also flirts with his mentor, but keeps getting rejected. Is that enough?
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I'd suggest thinking about why you need the training scenes. The fact that those events are happening doesn't mean that you need to depict them all.

    What are the psychological events? Maybe where they persuade someone to train them or accept that they will be trained? Maybe one failure and one success? Maybe reaching a point of satisfying skill? And those scenes could serve more than one purpose--for example, an antagonist could oppose them at a couple of points. Or they could become attached to the trainer as a parent figure, and then have that illusion shattered. Or attached as a friend, and then experience a betrayal. Or something.

    Have a look at training scenes in other fiction. Luke Skywalker doesn't spend all that much time onscreen being trained. Bridget Fonda, in Point of No Return (yeah, I know it's a remake), has an introduction, a few scenes of conflict, an acceptance that she needs to try and that she needs help doing so, and then we leap to months later where her training is largely complete. Arya and Syrio Forel don't spend all that much time onscreen, but the training and relationship affects the character's entire arc.

    My point is that those scenes should have inherent interest, rather than being boring scenes with some glitter pasted on.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  3. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

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    Every Scene should develop the story's plot, characters, or theme (or, if you are really good, all three at once.)

    As for if a story is boring or not, that all depends on Conflict and Tension and how well you sow these elements into your scenes.

    Conflict is where you have something blocking a character from accomplishing their goal.

    Tension is the moments in between conflict where conflict (or some type of disaster) is about to erupt. (Like a husband who is talking with his wife and is waiting for her to yell at him because he knows she knows about an affair.)

    Rather a scene is boring or not will depend on how well you execute these two concepts.
     
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  4. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

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    It sounds like you're putting several training scenes in. Are you sure you need every single one of them? Is there any way you can merge some together? If you merge them, then there's less of a chance these scenes will come off as boring, and in theory, you'll have more in total for the scenes you keep. You can still find ways of making it clear that the training is really important without including every training session.
     
  5. Dracon

    Dracon Contributor Contributor

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    Think of montage that you see in films of sequences of training - we don't need to bother to see all the details, but the montage is almost like the fast-forward of a DVD player. We can guess the details but don't necessarily need to see them all. Likewise Inna novel, you could give a brief overview of a few paragraphs, maybe a short anecdote or two, to say summarise what has happened in the past few weeks/months/years. Going through every lesson is not necessary or pertinent.
     
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  6. Azuresun

    Azuresun Senior Member

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    Think about what needs to happen in these scenes. What's the storyline, and the bits that will make a difference to the characters and plot? Those are the only bits you need to include apart from a basic setup of what's happening and how much time is passing.

    Going back to Luke & Yoda, every bit of the training we see onscreen advances the plot or develops a character. We get introduced to Yoda, we see the power that the unimpressive little green guy can wield, we get some information on what the Force is, Luke confronts his inner demons, and we get some foreshadowing of a bond between him and Vader. There's presumably other stuff going on on Dagobah, but we simply cut out the bits that don't matter.
     
  7. Odile_Blud

    Odile_Blud Active Member

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    Use the training to show her growth. At first, she fails, but as she works, she gets better. Maybe there's even a point where she wants to give up. Perhaps even a point where she does, but she makes her self get back to it to prove herself. Make it difficult, hard, something she has to fight through. Give the reader something to root for during these moments. There's a reason she's training? Right?

    She starts small and feels incapable, but as she continues she gets stronger and better. It can also represent her growth of character.
     
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  8. 33percent

    33percent Active Member

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    Training in what way? like sitting a computer to learn a program or military boot camp is two vastly different types of training.
     
  9. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Welcome to the site!
    Two things:

    1) I believe it was Faulkner who said that story is just a sequence of events ("The King died, and then the Queen died"), while plot is the chain of cause-and-effect ("The King died, and the Queen died of grief").

    2) "Profluence" is defined as the feeling that events in a story are building from a beginning to an end, even if the specific end isn't in sight yet.

    There are 365 days * 24 hours/day * 60 minutes/hour * 60 second/minute = 31,536,000 seconds in a year, multiplied again by however many years the character is alive, and you're already skipping the vast majority of the seconds in a character's life because these seconds don't contribute to the feeling that the story is progressing along a chain of cause and effect that's building to a finale.

    What moments in the character's training can you focus on that specifically derive from earlier moments, and that specifically form the basis for future moments?
     
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  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Admin Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    If the stuff your protag is learning is interesting training doesn't have to be boring - vis John Scalzi's first two books Old mans war and Ghost Brigades both have longish training sequences.

    That said if a scene is boring to write it will probably be boring to read and may not even be necessary - this is where show don't tell can let you down... showing bob learning double entry book keeping will be very boring to anyone who's not into accounting (which is most people) wheras just saying " Bob remembered his lessons in double entry book keeping, Christ those were tedious" both tells us that hes trained in it, and gives us a reason to like him - he found DEBK boring too.
     
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  11. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Just because your character is training a lot doesn't mean you have to have a lot of training scenes. It's very easy to say, she trained this way for six month or two years. I'm not saying that's what you should do, but it's what I would do before I started writing boring scenes.
     
  12. _WriterNerd_

    _WriterNerd_ New Member

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    Thank you to everyone who replied. You guys really helped me rethink this-and in turn-made me feel a lot more confident in my new and improved scenes. They do need to happen, but I realized they can be a lot shorter and written in a more entertaining matter. I believe they're a planned out better. Once again, thank you!
     
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  13. Vrisnem

    Vrisnem Member

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    If you think it’s boring it’s very likely the reader will too. Instead of “spicing it up”, it might be better to try and minimise or skip those scenes. Convey what you need to and then move on. Don’t actively try to expand on what feels boring.
     

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