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BradDaBug

Traveling and passage of time

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Whenever I''m writing for fun, usually the characters need to do some traveling, like traveling from Bigrichcapitaltown to Smallpodunk. Traveling by foot or horseback would require several days IRL (my stories are nearly all medieval style, but I guess this problem would apply to any setting). I don''t want the story to do something like "They left, and two weeks later, they arrived" but I don''t want to have to fill in with just unimportant junk. What to do, what to do. Game Development Wiki

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Just a small thought, if you don''t want to do the "fade out...fade in 2 weeks later" thing, if your story has a secondary storyline, you could use the travel time to focus on it. Also, why do the towns necessarily have to be that far apart?

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you basically end up with the second lord of the rings move...

and they''re running...

and they''re running...

oh look they''re running some more...

and they''re OHH! they''re WALKING...

and they''re running...

and they''re running...

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Cozman has the right idea. If your characters don''t encounter anything interesting or do anything meaningful on their journey, you can cut away to someplace else in the world - say, the place they''re travelling to or from - and catch up on events there. There has to be SOMETHING interesting or eventful happening in the time frame that is relevant to the characters'' arrival, and that could be your transition point. Once you''ve finished with "okay in Smallpodunk, things progressed as follows" you can cut back to your travelers - only 2 weeks later, as they arrive.

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A good way is chapter markers... but I suppose thats just the "Two weeks later" method.

Though, on the doing other things with the story, it''s usually good to use that time to introduce a character that will just be in that part of the story, show what he''s been doing for the few days before the protagonists show up. But, that is more of an anthology method of writing.

Another good thing might to give the reader a conversation that occured during the journey. I mean, they had to of stopped along the way to pitch camp and sleep for the night, and they surely couldn''t have gone the whole way silent. Figure what they would have been talking about along the way and bunch it up at one camp site. Develop the relationships a bit more, of even give a unique look into a particular character''s personality by showing what he does in his "off" time.

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You could give a short discripton of journey nothing to detailed, or use the that time to for character development.

Something on the lines of this should be enough

"The journey from Nice to Leyon was long and uneventful. The days passed by slowly in the back of that old ox cart, as it rolled through endless golden wheat fields. Sid spent most of the time plucking away at the lute he had puchased before leaving town. Tying to recreate some half remembered song. While Claire poured over a slim text preparing as best she could for awaited us ahead."

-----------------------------------------------------
Writer, Programer, Cook, I'm a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document



[edited by - TechnoGoth on February 26, 2004 5:14:24 PM]

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Also one thing I havent yet seen (it hasnt been implemented because its such a bad idea?) is the use of multiple character viewpoints in rpgs.
For instance you have a group of 3 characters, why can you not move between the different characters to control them at certain intervals, so you get a feel for each characters thoughts and emotions in each scene/section?
Lets say our characters split into two teams, A and B. A has a certain task to perform while B does something else. Focus could be on the first character in A breaking entry(or whatever), then cycle to the character who has to perform the task. Right before he performs the task, switch to what B is doing leaving the player suspended playing through to see what happens with A, but also hook them on B. Its a vicious cycle ;-)

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you should read the book "Centuries" by A. A. Attanasio. It often jumps forward 20, 100, 1000 years at a time.

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Ive been drinking heavily, so excuse the grammer :D

Remembe the show Monkey Magic? All that was was travelling. But instead of just having them show up at towns, iteresting events would happen that would test thier spirits. Like when they got stuck in a snow storm and they all thought of eating each other, and when they thought that sandy ran off an died in the snow they all got really sad and went to look for him, even though he was off drinking warm tea (I think). So yiu just have to have something that emphasises the long journey.

In other words, lets say there is a two week gap between ctiy A and city B. Maybe have it so that you say they leave, but then end the chapter and start back at when they are in the middle of a desert without food or water. They find a cave that has water trickling down walls into the cavern. Look out, side quest!

On the other hand, if nothing interesting at all happens, probably the best thing you can do is start talking about other characters. So you start detailing whats happening with the other characters for a chapter or so, and then once thats finished cut back to the people who have been traveling. Its like having a time period in your story.

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