1. Justin Rocket 2

    Justin Rocket 2 Senior Member

    Jun 13, 2013
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    How to handle technical details

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Justin Rocket 2, Mar 18, 2016.

    A volunteer on a boat working search and rescue on the great lakes finds a survivor of a plane explosion. The survivor is sprawled on wing wreckage. Since a storm is coming, the volunteer needs to move the survivor to the boat. Because the boat isn't a search and rescue boat, it isn't equipped to do that kind of work. The volunteer doesn't know the extent of the survivor's injuries.
    The volunteer needs one of these.
    because he doesn't have one, he improvises. He removes the wing flap and uses it. There are four people on the volunteer boat and one of them is quite old while another has a broken leg. So, the volunteer is working alone. He uses some rope and ties it to the wing flap.

    At this point, I realize that this is all dry technical crap with nearly no dramatic value. But, the reader is going to need to feel it is do-able before he's going to suspend disbelief. How do you handle dropping a lot of technical detail onto the reader without making it boring?
  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

    Sep 6, 2014
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    Add emotions and a time crunch.

    Whose POV are we in? Assuming the rescuer - maybe he's been in a rescue situation before and screwed it up, so the whole time he's being all efficient and useful this time, he's torturing himself about the past - why hadn't he been able to do this right before, when he loved the rescue-ee/didn't want to lose his job/was trying to impress his dad/whatever.

    Add in some panic/bravery/aggression/whatever on the part of the rescue-ees.

    And of course the plane is sinking this whole time, and he's got to race and make judgment calls (that strap should be tighter, but there's no time!) etc.
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

    Jul 5, 2010
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    California, US
    Ever read The Martian? Perfect example of how to put a ton of technical detail into something while keeping the reader interested. It's all about having a strong narrative voice to keep things moving.

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