The ability to make the reader aware of the traveling that’s taking place, while not having it overtake the story is an art. Richard does this by staying focused on the character’s thoughts and ideas, or even the interaction of the two characters in the car during the drive to the stories new location. Sounds easy until you try writing doing it with your own story, and then suddenly the difficulty sets in. How much time do you focus on the road, the environment, the characters interaction, the car or even the drive itself … finding that balance can be tough for any writer.
This is the same idea for describing your environments or the places your characters find themselves in during the progression of the story. Too much and you have your readers wanting to gouge their eyes out from the boring monotony of every scene within your story, not enough and no one truly understands what’s happening and there is not enough depth to hold the reader’s interest.
My own writing style follows along the path that I create this movie that is running in my head, and my writing focuses on trying to share that experience with you, the reader, as I try to share my impressions in words as to what I’m seeing. The first good example of this that comes to mind is the movie Avatar. Imagine yourself as being the writer as you try to put the movie’s world into words for someone else as you watch the film. How would you explain the incredible unique details of the world? How would you describe the alienness of the creature and characters, while not having it overwhelm your readers in details?
Let me throw another bone at you … Imagine that you are the writer who has been focused on creating this amazing story and have planned and thought out your world into such incredible detail that it lives in your mind. You have a story to tell, but at the same time you want … almost need to give your readers this incredible vision of your world. Unfortunately, many of the details you have so laboriously created doesn’t actually add anything relevant to the actual plotline of the story.
So the question turns into how do you share this with your readers? You do this by talking about the character’s thoughts and feelings, while sharing bits and pieces about the wonders the character sees and experiences … as long as it is relevant to overall story line. That’s the kicker. You actually need to make it relevant to your characters and the story you’re telling. Sometimes there are small parts that you can fit into the story by switching between the known and unknown. You can talk about how the land or what the character sees makes your character feels that helps you share that character’s internal struggle or growth. You can have them think about how odd or different or familiar it is to where they grew up at. You can even have the environment interact with your character in an important way that adds to the overall plotline. However you end up fitting these details into your story, just make sure it’s not too much of a good thing.
I enjoyed Blade Runner, but that intro of the technical marvel of the future made me want to poke my eyes out before the movie ever started. Once it started I loved the plotline and the message, but you had to make it through that freaking almost ten minute intro to enjoy the movie, way too much camera panning for most of us to enjoy. Another good example of this is JRR Tolkien. I loved the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, but sometimes the man could get lost in songs and languages of the different creatures that inhabited his world. Yes I know he was a language professor. Yes I know he actually created fully functional languages for the various species within his world, but honestly I have no desire to learn the languages. Kind of like how I enjoy Star Trek, but have no desire to learn Klingon.
Anyway, things to think about as you’re writing your amazing novels.