It’s the Same Thing in a New Way

Let’s face it: there are certain points in the plot of every fiction-novel story type where you have to do something like…

A. create a scene where the two love interests bare their feelings a little

B. create a situation in which the main character learns what’s actually going on (aka the info dump)

C. create something along these lines that occurs in your particular writing style (the antagonist confronts the protagonist, a planet must be destroyed, the deep-dark secret is revealed, etc)

These things must occur in order for the reader to grasp what’s going on, and yes these scenes generally involve someone talking for an extended period of time. As writers, of course we want our story to be incredibly unique and stunning and not “run of the mill,” but we can’t escape these moments either without the risk of either a plotless story, or a plot too complex to be followed. So what do we do? Well, we take that old dress, dye it a new color, adjust the hemline, maybe add a bow or some lace, and viola! We have the same dress in a whole new style.

In writer’s terms, take that typical plot sequence and personalize it beyond recognition. One of the easiest things to do is look at the setting; is there any way to make it stand out? I once did an exercise involving unique settings, and ended up with a short story comedy about a girl being sick with the flu in a public restroom, and one about sisters getting to know each other while being stuck on the roof. If they have to talk about the bad guy’s undoubtedly nefarious plot, maybe they could be in the midst of a high speed car chase, or trying to order food from a waiter that doesn’t speak their language. All that needs to be said will still be said, but the scenery will keep the reader engaged!

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