1. Published on Amazon? If you have a book, e-book, or audiobook available on Amazon.com, we'll promote it on WritingForums.org for free. Simply add your book to our Member Publications section. Add your book here or read the full announcement.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  1. sprirj

    sprirj Contributing Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Likes Received:

    Setting up a story

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by sprirj, Jun 15, 2015.

    simple question... Can market scenes be exciting?

    So the thing is, I need my mc to talk/buy something/someone to advance the story. I figured a market, as he is in a small town would be the most likely setting, but is this part of a book just a necessary evil or can I do something more interesting with it?

    Anyone come across similar situations or read interesting approaches?
  2. sidtvicious

    sidtvicious Contributing Member Contributor

    Jun 6, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Inferno, office 752. Take a right turn at the wat
    My suggestion is to not make the purchase the focus of the scene. The reader learns about your MC by watching them interact with other people. Use this scene as a way to introduce your character by having them interact with others via dialogue and conflict. The purchase may be plot important...yes. Does the reader need it written in bold letters? Absolutely, not.
    GingerCoffee likes this.
  3. animenagai

    animenagai Member

    Jun 10, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Well, if it's not a big event, you can just talk about it in passing (these are the cases where it's ok to tell and not show). If it is an important scene, just make sure you have something interesting in the scene. This could be a colourful character or just something unusual about the otherwise mundane setting. You can make any setting interesting.
  4. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Jun 13, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Queens, NY
    Scenes in markets or restaurants, or at social gatherings, where the activity of the place itself is mundane, can be really useful to show conflict between two characters - or even among groups - because you can interject little pieces of the mundane activity to slow the movement of the scene and build tension. You can also use a minor incident as a jumping off point to a major conflict. Christina Baker Kline does this quite well near the end of The Orphan Train, when a seemingly harmless comment about the cost of vegetables suddenly ramps up to a crisis (as seemingly harmless comments will do).
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  5. nrextakemi

    nrextakemi Member

    Jun 14, 2015
    Likes Received:
    There is no such thing as "necessary evil". You can skip the part and just write "x bought y" or you can write the entire scene in detail. Whatever you feel like mane. Readers will skip what they want, but, personally, I sometimes enjoy reading(and writing) about characters doing such "mundane" activities. It gives them soul.
  6. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    Why is the market necessarily mundane?

    There are two options with such a scene, make it fascinating to 'look' at or have something interesting happen, or both. I'm writing a similar mundane scene right now myself. I was also struggling, but had a breakthrough yesterday. In my case my characters are returning to their village after the main character has been through a harrowing experience. Walking into the village was an important event but what can one do with it, a group of people are walking into a village.

    Sometimes scenes feel like a chore that one must get done. You can't just skip it, have the characters skip an important event, just move to the next scene. But coming home, hugs all around, thanks to all that went after the MC, helped her get back, ho hum, ho hum.

    The breakthrough in my case was adding a hostile, going against the elders rebellion of a small group accosting the wayfarers a short distance from the village. But that still left the arrival and for that I am ramping up the descriptions of the village, the people, the sounds and smells of home and how those affect the main character.

    A market place will have a wealth of interesting things to see, to hear, to smell. The people are busy, perhaps children are underfoot, there might be stares cast onto the character making him/her nervous or the character notices how unnoticed he/she is. Maybe you have some foreshadowing, something about the scene or a bystander concerns your character, or it could be an atmosphere of fun and laughter. Maybe the character envies the mundane life of a merchant.

    Markets can be fascinating places.
    peachalulu likes this.
  7. Tim3232

    Tim3232 Active Member

    Mar 19, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Out door markets tend to be more colourful than shops and supermarkets. Food being cooked and aromas in the air. Sellers demoing products and pulling in an audience with entertaining sales talk. Pick pockets. Live animals. Arts and Crafts stalls. 2nd hand book stalls. You can do all sorts with a market to make it interesting.
  8. Renee J

    Renee J Contributing Member

    Oct 7, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Reston, VA
    I have a scene in a store (basically Target) that starts out kind of boring. It's really to show the reader how comfortable the characters have become with each other. I'm still reworking it, but I'm trying make their conversation interesting (and advancing some of the plot). Later, something happens at the store that is a big contrast from the earlier scene. I figure it would be a bigger shock than if I just started the scene at that part. At the same time, I don't want the beginning part to be too boring.

Share This Page