I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’ve always had such a huge trouble writing my traveling scenes!
SO. I’ve learned from my past experiences, and today I’m going to be telling you guys exactly what will make your traveling scenes interesting.
Let’s get started!
1. Have the Characters Talk About Important Things
Okay, first tip: dialogue is just such a great way to fill in those blanks when characters are traveling.
So, I looked at the last version that I wrote of the book I’m working on right now, and as I looked over my traveling scenes, I realized that while they basically sucked, the dialogue was pretty good overall, so keep in mind that dialogue is a pretty great way to get traveling scenes on the roll.
You can’t just have characters comment about how lovely the weather is.
Unless the weather is important to your book of course.
The idea is, when the characters talk with each other, they need to talk about important things that matter. Things that move the story along. Things that might foreshadow. But basically things that are important to the plot of the story. Every sentence the characters speak should be moving the plot along, and should be relevant to the story.
Unless the weather is relevant, or unless it’s used for relevant describing, don’t talk about the weather.
So, what should we have our characters talk about?
2. Have the Characters Talk About Information That Us Readers Need to Know About
I underlined the ‘need’ for a good reason. When characters travel, it’s a great time for the guide/leader of the group to explain to the protagonist (or maybe even the protagonist having to explain to a minor character) where they’re going.
While the character explains about where they’re heading and possibly what it looks like, have the protagonist (or minor character) ask solid questions like, “How should we act when we get there?” or, “What’s your plan when we arrive?” You know, realistic questions that you yourself might ask if you were going to that exact same place your character’s are going to.
3. Have the Protagonist Remember Everything That’s Happened/Happening and Why He’s Doing What He’s Doing
So, even though dialogue’s great and all, the characters will eventually lose a subject to talk about, and so then it’s gunna be time for the protagonist to think, and wonder, and worry.
This is a good time for the protagonist to keep his main goal of the story in mind. He might have all these huge side matters/problems to take care of, but he also has a solid main goal at the end of the day, even after everything he’s been through.
So, to make your protagonist remember, have him reassure himself that his quest is worth everything he’s doing. To do this, have him basically ask himself why he’s risking his life and doing what he’s doing.
Here’s a quick walk-through on how to do this:
Try to let the answer of ‘why’ not be to just ‘save the world’, but also make it something the protagonist himself wants personally; something he’s willing to sacrifice his life for. To start off, have him think, “I’m doing this because…” and then add why he’s doing what he’s doing, “…because if I don’t do this, my sister will die of this plague that’s infecting everyone.”
See what I mean? And so basically, that’s how you slyly make everyone remember the main goal of the whole book.
4. If You’ve Gone Through All Three of These and Your Characters Still Haven’t Reached Their Destination…
Then seriously, just cut it off. Any more than this is just filler, and you never want that. So, here are some ways to just cut off:
- Just have your protagonist finish his thoughts with some sort of epic sentence like, “And they were going to win.” and just cut off after that
- Maybe say: ‘A few hours later, the castle was in sight. Tomorrow, they’d reach it.” or, you can say: “A few hours later, the castle was in sight. Jermey (or ya know, your own character’s name) called for a halt, and as soon as we’d eaten and laid out our cloaks, the moment my head hit the ground, I was asleep.” Something along the lines of that, at least, but you basically get the gist of it.
- And of course, you can simply just have the protagonist thinking and worrying and just end the chapter, or have a chapter break on his worried thoughts, which might create a tense/worried feeling in the readers, leaving them feel sympathetic towards your protagonist.
Well! Hopefully this post gave you guys some ideas about how to make your traveling scenes interesting.
It’s not like you need to follow all four of these steps every time your character’s travel-that would get way too repetitive. But these are definitely going to help your story move along and keep reminding readers about everything that’s happened/will happen.
Is it just me, or have traveling scenes always been hard to write???
I hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment down below.
Thanks for reading!
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