Sticking Point


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Thread: Sticking Point

  1. #1

    Sticking Point

    First of all I need to show you what I've got for the first scene in Tommy's clearing, so you know the format for his second visit. In this scene he's seen the girl for the first time and so, although I mention colours a little bit, I'm not showing how she's changing him just yet. That's going to be in the second visit:

    By just gone 3 o’clock Tommy arrived at his favourite clearing in Weelsby Woods, a nest for the forgotten, woven from oak and birch. Here and there large flowers bloomed, leant in from the shade of the trees, hungry for the sun, while their daintier cousins poked out from the long grass, adding colour to the otherwise verdant enclave. A tree stump formed a makeshift seat and here he perched.

    In this solitude, Tommy felt free to consider anything. The good, the bad and the indifferent, mere incidents, reduced, distilled and evaluated. He was Lord over this kingdom, the ruler of all things him.

    He held out his right hand, watched it intently until the tremble dissipated and then, after making a gentle fist, brought the lemon girl into the clearing. There she was, a mirage shimmering in the sunlight, a memory of unsullied joy.

    “Who are you?” Tommy stood and folded his arms.

    The lemon girl swayed, her hair ethereal, kissed in the heat.

    “Where are you from?” He took a step forward; arms unlocked and dropped by his sides.

    Two taller figures appeared, one either side, smoke beside a bright, flickering light.

    “Would you be my friend?” The naivety of the question closed his eyes, her image still alight in his thoughts.

    She turned as if she heard; a question in her eyes too.

    Startled, Tommy snapped open his eyes, watched as the two other images smouldered, grew thick about the girl, snuffed the flame and coalesced into a figure he knew oh so well: his father.

    “You still have that homework to do,” Tommy said with a sneer.
    This leads to a flashback about his father and what changed him. Following a shortish scene of Tommy returning from the clearing, in which he then sleeps through to the following day, he revisits Candy Land at exactly the same time in the hope he sees the girl again. He does and then goes to the clearing again.

    This time I add in more colour to show more clearly how she's changing his perspective on things. I'm not going to spell it out, I'm going to leave it sub-textual. But still the shadows push in eventually, as in the first scene, and I flashback to him being bullied at school. I might change that to a less cliched location though. Somewhere more interesting and dynamic.

    Here's the thing that's bothering me though: Following this, I need to show he's now regularly going to Candy Land and regularly seeing the girl. I need to show more distant interactions without turning this section into huge scenes. It's over the course of two weeks. I don't want to end up with a page and a half of 'telling' and there's my problem. What do you suggest I could do to condense these two weeks without overtelling?

    There are only two more scenes to follow this and the story is done.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  2. #2
    Here's what you need, "Show AND Tell". It's OK to do some telling. Just don't let it be boring.

    https://lithub.com/the-three-words-t...how-dont-tell/

    and

    http://markcnewton.com/2010/06/29/sh...d-other-myths/

  3. #3
    Can you elaborate on why you need to show more distant interactions?
    Sometimes in the waves of change we find our new direction...
    - unknown

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    Can you elaborate on why you need to show more distant interactions?
    He dare not cross the road. He's afraid of strangers because they examine him more closely than most people. All interactions with the girl are across the road. He wants to cross but simply can't. It's why I've also given her upper class parents. That just adds extra motive for him to be terrified of crossing.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyAz View Post
    He dare not cross the road. He's afraid of strangers because they examine him more closely than most people. All interactions with the girl are across the road. He wants to cross but simply can't. It's why I've also given her upper class parents. That just adds extra motive for him to be terrified of crossing.
    I still don't inderstand why the distance would be building? After all the visits, aren't they getting closer?
    Sometimes in the waves of change we find our new direction...
    - unknown

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by vranger View Post
    Here's what you need, "Show AND Tell". It's OK to do some telling. Just don't let it be boring.

    https://lithub.com/the-three-words-t...how-dont-tell/

    and

    http://markcnewton.com/2010/06/29/sh...d-other-myths/
    I'm currently reading he second one because in all honesty I found the first unhelpful for my needs. It goes without question you have to tell what you are feeling or thinking sometimes, otherwise, setting up scenes to show that would make every novel 2000 pages long at least! lol. I found it self indulgent, and my immediate thought on finishing was 'I'm so glad I'm not educated'.

    Seriously though, I'm really grateful for you posting it. Now to continue with the second link which appears to be more on point so far!
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    I still don't inderstand why the distance would be building? After all the visits, aren't they getting closer?
    Yeah, they're getting closer emotionally but Tommy (and he would assume the girl too) can't be certain of their emotions. On crossing the road, any assumptions of her could be shattered. But the question is more about how to write that section without it stretching much longer than its needs.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyAz View Post
    I'm currently reading he second one because in all honesty I found the first unhelpful for my needs. It goes without question you have to tell what you are feeling or thinking sometimes, otherwise, setting up scenes to show that would make every novel 2000 pages long at least! lol. I found it self indulgent, and my immediate thought on finishing was 'I'm so glad I'm not educated'.

    Seriously though, I'm really grateful for you posting it. Now to continue with the second link which appears to be more on point so far!
    I agree. I thought the first blog had more of the blogger's personal journey than a nuts and bolts discussion, which is what made me look for the second blog.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by vranger View Post
    I agree. I thought the first blog had more of the blogger's personal journey than a nuts and bolts discussion, which is what made me look for the second blog.
    Yeah, I'm aware of how it's used and why you'd use it (or not use it). It's this particular scene I'm concerned about. I don't feel it's of great importance to labour the point once I've shown in the second clearing scene the girl is changing his perceptions. All I need from the following 12 days is a re-affirmation rather than a big scene to push the point harder. I need to flick in and out of showing and telling in such a way I can keep is short. I do layer in the way Tommy feels and how he thinks by using 'his' language to describe things, such as this:

    However, on the other side, bedlam, (fear of insanity) with patrons flitting between one shop and the next, smiles broadened after each purchase, bags fattened after each visit. (a dislike of materialism)
    However, I don't think I can extend that enough to express everything I need for that intermediate scene.
    Craft / Draft / Graft And Write To Entertain.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyAz View Post
    Yeah, they're getting closer emotionally but Tommy (and he would assume the girl too) can't be certain of their emotions. On crossing the road, any assumptions of her could be shattered. But the question is more about how to write that section without it stretching much longer than its needs.
    Yes, I understand the question, but I just needed to be clear on the circumstances. As far as making a section of time like a couple of weeks shorter, two things come to mind.

    1) Jump ahead, and have them discuss the weekly visits in a conversation by starting with something like, "We have been meeting everyday for the past week..." *** "It has been two weeks since we have been meeting every day..."

    2) Or tell it, 'The two had met each day for a week...' *** 'It had already been two weeks since they had been meeting every day...'

    I'm not sure why you are struggling with this. Maybe this question is over my head.
    Sometimes in the waves of change we find our new direction...
    - unknown

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