Author Topic: non-battle scenes  (Read 1216 times)

Shiael

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non-battle scenes
« on: May 24, 2011, 12:24:29 AM »
        Recently, I am having a bit of trouble coming up with the mundane, space-filling scenes. They always come up short or I find myself rambling. My detail is fine, and I don't want to bore mself not to mention my readers.       
       
      Anyway, any advice?
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Silk

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Re: non-battle scenes
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2011, 05:12:46 AM »
This is going to be a really broad answer, but hopefully it's helpful anyway.

First some clarification is in order: Are you writing non-battle scenes, or space-filling scenes? They're two quite different things, I'd argue. And if the scenes you're writing only serve to take up space... I might question why you're writing them. :)

As for writing mundane scenes, they're not inherently less interesting or anything. You must have some conflict other than people whacking the heck out of each other, can you exploit it? And there must be a reason your people are fighting--can you explain it, resolve it, make it worse, that kind of thing?

Okay, well, that was just as sweepingly broad a suggestion as I said it would be. Sorry about that--hard to be more specific without more information though. Hopefully it helps anyway?

Shiael

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Re: non-battle scenes
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2011, 01:57:48 AM »
it does help. however, let me rephrase. by space filling, I meant time filling, like when peole travel from one point to another and there are no physical battles involved. I get what you say about the change in argument, though.
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fireflyz

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Re: non-battle scenes
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2011, 10:19:38 PM »
Every scene should do something.  Move the story forward, develop characters, develop interaction, thicken the plot, etc.  If you're characters are moving from point a to b and it's boring then either they need to discuss something that moves the plot and is interesting or we need to see vibrantly through a character's eyes what is going on around them (that also gives us insight into who they are).  Or something could happen to them a long the way.  If you just need them to move from one point to another, why not skip that and start the next chapter with them arriving?
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Shiael

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Re: non-battle scenes
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 02:59:40 AM »
Alrighty, I'll do that. Thanks.
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Silk

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Re: non-battle scenes
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2011, 07:48:49 AM »
Oh, I see--my bad. But yes, I second Fireflyz's suggestion--that's what I usually do too.

Inkthinker

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Re: non-battle scenes
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 12:08:17 PM »
Travel time is character time... it's an opportunity to have conversations between characters that reveal things about themselves or their relationships to other characters. Lots of mundane crap happens during traveling, especially if you're being very realistic about it. There's time on the road, but also time setting up or breaking down camp, time spent gathering or preparing foods, time spent caring for equipment or mounts (horses have a whole routine you need to go through every time you start and stop for a decent period of time), time spent on watch while the others sleep.

Not only are these times you can build up on the characters through their interactions and conversations, but you can also slip in world-building details when describing the actions they perform as they interact. If they're gather food or caring for a mount, that's a time for some flora/fauna world detail. If they're caring for equipment, that's time for technology and crafting detail, and so forth.

If you haven't got anything to say between larger plot points and don't need to develop the characters or world further, then there's no real need to show anything happening as they travel. Sometimes it's enough to say they went from here to there, and it took this long, and nothing much happened. But honestly, if you think about characters spending much time with each other it's hard not to envision ways in which their interactions and conversations reveal things about themselves to each other and to the reader.

Shiael

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Re: non-battle scenes
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2011, 03:04:25 AM »
Thanks you guys. Your advice helped greatly. I have already used it quite a bit :)
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fardawg

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Re: non-battle scenes
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2011, 12:09:29 PM »
Fill it with magic, independent, mindless, teleporting, world dissembling, life re-creating,  god-demon monkeys that do supernatural stuff .

On second thought, don't. I'm calling dibs on that one!  :P 
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 12:12:12 PM by fardawg »

Shiael

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Re: non-battle scenes
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2011, 06:25:03 PM »
Nice.  ;)
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Shiael

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Re: non-battle scenes
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2011, 06:29:49 PM »
monkeys? o.O
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fardawg

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Re: non-battle scenes
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2011, 05:18:30 PM »
You can never go wrong with monkeys.  ;D  Especially helpful,  headless ones. http://tinyurl.com/4xo3kah 
« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 10:45:22 PM by fardawg »

Shiael

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Re: non-battle scenes
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2011, 01:34:59 AM »
Aaah. I see. XD  :P
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dhalagirl

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Re: non-battle scenes
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2011, 07:05:05 AM »
Actually, you can go wrong with monkeys.  They frequently throw wrenches into my plans. Not as often as the wrenches throw monkeys into my plans, but often enough.

fardawg

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Re: non-battle scenes
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2011, 02:18:15 PM »
"They frequently throw wrenches into my plans"

That's why I prefer the headless variety. They are MUCH easier to program.   

"Not as often as the wrenches throw monkeys into my plans"

That is why I voted against sentient wrenches, twice!  On the other hand, Monkey Wrenches  are my most valuable asset. Literally... I replaced my other hand with a Monkey Wrench. Non-sentient of course.