View Full Version : Writing about journeys....
January 17th, 2002, 05:35 AM
I have this problem that when I am writing about a long journey and stuff like that, it all get completely boring rubbish, and I don't know what to do about it. I simply don't have the right ideas to make it exciting, I think. And if you are writing about a journey which the travellers think are boring - what do you do then? I guess I could just make it shorter, simply don't tell so much about the journey, but then it seems like something is missing. What do I do? Anyone who's got any comments?
January 17th, 2002, 06:49 AM
Skip the journey if there is not something important in it. Or use 3-4 paragraphs to describe it all --just from what places your characters are passing and what do they see.
January 17th, 2002, 09:10 AM
There are better ways to tackle this than to "skip it."
Sometimes, relating the utter boredom of the characters to the reader gives us a better feel for the story...of course the writing should not be boring- only the actual journey. If you're looking to appease the crowd that won't read a book that has more than 4 straight pages without a sword and sorcery duel, then by all means cut it
Otherwise, use the opportunity of character downtime to get into their heads...perhaps they're planning what will happen when they reach their destination. Perhaps they use the time to figure out some of the opposition's plans. This doesn't mean you should devote a 50 page chapter to the story- but if the fact that they are on a long, boring journey is important to the story, you shouldn't exclude it altogether.
You don't even need to focus on the journey itself. Focus rather on the characters, use the chapter as an opportunity to flash-back if your story requires it. Focus on the surrounding world- but don't get bogged down describing a fir tree that isn't any different than any other fir-tree.
January 18th, 2002, 02:08 AM
If the journey is merely to get your characters from one place to another and no other action concerning them takes place, then talk about it as little as possible (however a journey can be useful to resolve, or deepen, or introduce, character conflicts).
I'd tend to switch away form the journey once you've established it has begun, then switch back at the end, you know '...seven days later they arrived in XXX, tired, bored and filthy...' Simplistic I know, but you get the point, I'm sure (and so will your readers). The advantage is, you haven't written fluff for word count's sake and it gets your characters to their next action point.
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